If your business uses a PC that runs on the following Windows operating systems, pay close attention. You must upgrade to a supported version, such as Windows 10 or 11, to maintain the security of your desktops and laptops.
End-of-Life Operating Systems
- Windows NT 3.1/3.5/3.51/4.0/2000
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Windows 8
Operating Systems Nearing End of Life
- Windows 8.1 (January 10, 2023)
Microsoft no longer provides tech support on almost all of these operating systems. The exception is Windows 8.1, which has an end-of-support date coming up on January 10, 2023.
Support services that Microsoft will no longer offer
A PC operating on an outdated Windows operating system will continue to work. However, it will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Windows will not be offering these services for End-of-Life operating systems:
- Security updates
- Non-security hotfixes
- Paid assisted support from Microsoft
- Online technical content updates
Unsupported and unpatched operating systems put the security of an organization at risk. Hackers target devices with outdated Windows operating systems for malware attacks. They can examine the latest Windows security updates and look for vulnerabilities that you cannot patch on the End-of-Life Windows operating system. Then, they can design attacks to steal personal data, gain access to your banking account, or use the computer as part of their cybercriminal network.
Risks of using unsupported operating systems
- Malware attacks
- Attacks on security holes Microsoft previously did not discover
- Incompatibility with software and supplemental hardware (printers, webcams, etc.)
- Violation of industry data security compliance standards
To find out which version of Windows you are running, follow these steps:
1. Click the Start button, and then type winver in the search box.
2. Double-click winver in the list of results to open the About Windows dialog box, where you will see the version of Windows that your PC is running.
If you are running Windows 10 and 11, Microsoft is still supporting your operating system. If you are running any other operating system on a PC, such as Windows 7, you will need to update.
Challenges to companywide operating system updates
Organizations that are considering upgrading their Windows operating system might have some obstacles they need to overcome including:
- Budget: Moving dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of machines and users incurs inflated costs. However, the costs of not upgrading are much higher.
- Stubborn Users: Some workers may be resistant to change, especially if they used the same work processes for years. These workers might not be computer savvy and believe it takes too much effort to update their skills. Consider training a few of the late adopters at first, then encouraging them to bring the rest of the group on board.
- Incompatibility of critical applications: The updated Windows operating system may not be backward compatible with some legacy business applications.
My company is willing to upgrade its operating system. Now what?
SwiftTech Solutions can assist with migrating your devices to Windows 10 or 11. We suggest:
- Backing up data before transferring to the new system.
- If a computer meets the system requirements, install Windows 10 or 11.
- If your machine does not meet the system requirements, consider purchasing a new business PC with Windows 10 or 11.
- If your organization has a legacy application that is not compatible with Windows 10 or 11, upgrade the application if possible. The latest versions of applications introduce new tools that can help employees work more efficiently. If upgrading the application is not possible now, employees can use the application from a virtualized and protected workspace with the needed End of Life Windows operating system.
For more information about our operating system upgrade projects, contact us at email@example.com or 877-794-3811.