Copenhagen, Denmark – January 22, 2020 — CTGlobal, the IT consultancy and development company focused on cloud, data center, security and enterprise client management, estimates that a large number of enterprises are still running Windows 7, even though the operating system went End of Support this month.
A large number of enterprises are still running Windows 7, which went End of Support last week. Even though the End of Support date has been known for years — Microsoft published the date back in 2015 — approximately 50% of CTGlobal’s customers still use the operating system fully or partially.
“This is quite standard: It’s a common occurrence with every end-of-life cycle for every major and predominant software product, no matter how well in advance the decision to discontinue the product is announced,” states Jason Sandys, Principal Consultant at CTGlobal, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in Enterprise Mobility, and a veteran in the enterprise client management game.
And while running an End of Support operating system may be business as usual, it is also not a very good place to be for an organization: The End of Support status means that Microsoft is no longer publishing updates, including security updates for Windows 7. Companies that continue to rely on it will expose the organization’s applications and business to serious security risks, and generate compliance issues in the not-too distant future.
Although Microsoft offers rudimentary security support through a “Extended Security Updates” (ESU) at a (high) price, this should not be considered a viable option by enterprises; Microsoft itself refers to the ESU as a “last-resort option”: The ESU only covers “security updates for critical and important issues as defined by Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) for a maximum of three years after January 14, 2020.”
In addition to being largely inadequate for most organizations, the ESU is also costly – from around $25 per device in the 2020, rising to $50-$100 per device and $100-$200 per device in years 2021 and 2022 respectively. As a result, CTGlobal sees hardly any enterprises subscribing to the ESU.
“We have been working with and recommending all of our customers to move from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for years. This has been a top priority, because purchasing, receiving, or deploying Windows 7 Extended Security Updates does not mean that Microsoft will or is supporting Windows 7 past January 2020 in any way. Windows 7 support ended January 14 2020; full stop,“ says Jason Sandys.
The shift from Windows 7 to 10 is a very big deal
The trouble for organizations is that, while the IT pros fully recognize and understand the impact of basing their business on an unsupported operating system, transitioning to a new product is often easier said than done:
“An enterprise IT infrastructure is full of interdependencies, and when you shift a cog here, it impacts a wheel somewhere else – though not necessarily where you anticipated, unless you have full visibility of all components and functions,” says Jason Sandys.
It’s an understatement to say the task of transitioning from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is comprehensive. Unless there is expertise and experience to draw on within the organization when you set the wheels in motion, it’s easy to make mistakes.
Some industries, like manufacturing, have specialized machinery run by systems that cannot be touched. But for organizations in e.g. the professional services there are no significant technical impediments to the transition – rather, it’s reluctance to go all-in and embrace the change and to prioritize the resources that is holding the decision back:
“Because the shift from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is a big deal, it is quite natural for organizations to postpone the move: This is a new way of thinking operating systems – Windows 10 is not just Windows 8 version 2; not just a question of some improvements and changes to stuff you already know. The cloud-based interconnectivity that Windows 10 represents is an entirely different way of working, and migrating data and applications is highly complex and costly. It is understandable why a lot of organizations have postponed the move for as long as possible. But now, time’s up. Fortunately, we see that most of our customers have put a high priority on it,” says Jason Sandys.
About Jason Sandys
Jason is Principal Consultant at CTGlobal and an Enterprise Mobility MVP, has 20+ years of experience in a wide range of technologies, environments, and industries and extensive knowledge in implementing and supporting all things SMS and Configuration Manager beginning with SMS 2.0.
He is a co-author for System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Unleashed, System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Unleashed, a contributing author to System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Unleashed, and is a frequent presenter at Microsoft events, as well as various other community events and user-groups world-wide.
Jason blogs at home.configmgrftw.com and is active in the online support community.
CTGlobal is an IT consultancy and development company focused on cloud, data center, security and enterprise client management. The corporate HQ is based in Denmark with offices in the Nordics, Baltics and the United States. The company was founded in 1999.
CTGlobal is Microsoft Gold Partner in Windows and Devices; Cloud Platform; Cloud Productivity; and Datacenter, and our experts speak and teach at leading international seminars and conferences.
CTGlobal helps enterprises maximize return on their investments in Microsoft Systems Management and cloud platform solutions, by visualizing threats to compliance, security and performance in their IT infrastructure, and prioritize tasks and resources accordingly. CTGlobal is renowned for expert solutions and recognized as leaders in the field of management technology and infrastructure visualization.
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