Microsoft is Ending Support for Windows 7 and Office 2010 in 2020
We use Windows 7 and Office 2010. What should we do when Microsoft ends support in 2020? What will happen if we don’t upgrade or change?
Microsoft will be ending support for a number of its business products in 2020. What does this mean for your business? You’ll need to update the products you use. You can also take the opportunity to use managed IT services. A managed services provider (MSP) can help you upgrade your business software so you can keep operating safely and securely.
Which Microsoft products are ending support in 2020?
A couple of pretty big desktop software products are ending support in 2020: Windows 7 in January and Office 2010 in October. Office 2010 products that will be off support after October include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access 2010. Windows Server 2008 and 2008R2 and Exchange Server 2010 end support in January. A number of Office 2016 products for Mac are also ending support in October. Finally, Office 2016’s mainstream support ends in October 2020. It will be switching to extended support, which is set to end in 2025.
What does it mean when Microsoft ends support?
When Microsoft ends support, one of the most important impacts is on security. While the products are receiving Microsoft support, they get regular updates and patches to prevent hacking and other security problems. When support ends, the updates are no longer provided. Microsoft focuses on newer products.
Not a big deal? Software that’s out of support is an ideal opportunity for malicious computer hackers. They keep track of Microsoft’s continued updates and reverse-engineer them. This lets them easily gain access through vulnerabilities in older software.
What should I do if my business has Microsoft products that are ending support?
You have several options, including upgrading the software to a new version or to cloud-based programs like Office 365. This is where managed IT services can come in. Managed services providers (MSPs) are experienced in upgrading business networks when Microsoft or other providers end support for server products or desktop software. They can help you decide which upgrade choices are best for your business.
Will I lose my business data or will programs stop working?
If you stay with old desktop programs that are no longer supported by Microsoft, you can lose functionality in non-Microsoft programs that use Windows to operate. You may also find that new programs you want to install won’t be compatible with your older version of Windows.
Data loss is possible too. You may lose data because of software conflicts, or because of security breaches resulting from your software being off support and no longer receiving security updates.
Should we buy all new hardware and software?
It’s unlikely a complete upgrade will be necessary, but you may already be experiencing some problems if your desktops are more than five years old or if your equipment varies in age, with some “old timers” mixed in with new laptops or desktops.
How can a managed IT services provider (MSP) help us sort this out?
Managed services providers have experienced staff who’ve worked on many business systems. Keeping track of Microsoft’s support schedule is one of their main tasks, and they can help you decide what your best alternatives are for upgrades, updates, new desktop software, or a move to cloud-based programs like Office 365.
They can identify potential security risks and can protect your business from threats that include malicious hackers and data thieves. They can also help you decide which equipment is out of date along with software requiring updates or upgrades because Microsoft is ending support. According to tech experts, most desktop computers that can run Windows 7 can run Windows 10. If you need a new server or changes to your network, a qualified MSP can handle that task. They can also provide responsive support to help you keep running smoothly.
What are my risks if I don’t do anything when Microsoft ends support for one or more of our programs?
Your computers and data will be vulnerable to hackers. Ransomware is one of the most serious and growing threats. Ransomware takes over your network and demands payment of cryptocurrency before you can use your computers again. The attacks have targeted school districts, hospitals, banks, and government agencies in addition to businesses and individuals. Don’t risk a ransomware or other malicious hacking intrusion. Reach out to a managed IT service provider and make plans to turn Microsoft’s end of support for your desktop and server software into an opportunity to create a safer, more efficient business IT system.
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