OBSOLESCENCE BUILDER-INNER Microsoft is preparing the final slog towards the imminent retirement of Windows 7.
There’s just one month to go before the operating system, which debuted in 2009 and is considered by purists as the ‘last great’ edition of Windows will stop receiving security updates from 14 January, making it officially a liability in organisations that continue to run it.
From January, you’ll start to get full-screen pop-ups warning you that it’s time to upgrade, unless your organisation has paid for Extended Support from Microsoft.
This wind-down has been much more measured than the end of Windows XP, but as a result, awareness is low, and as a result, 33.7 per cent of desktop/laptop machines were still running the soon-to-be-erstwhile OS. At the time XP went, usage was already below a quarter.
Many organisations have shied away from upgrading because Windows 7 works and there were some spectacular consequences for the few firms that updated to Windows 8, making the jump to ‘10 seem very risky.
However, that decision looks set to bite them in the bum, as, given Christmas, it seems unlikely that many firms will meet the deadline, meaning they’ll have to either take the risk or pay the fee to extend.
Earlier this month, we told you that the NHS is still running Windows 7 on 20,000 terminals – that’s over half the computers in the entire healthcare system.
The repercussions of the NHS’s failure to act came with the Heartbleed virus, which led to vital medical equipment being borked, without warning, because it was still running the vulnerable Windows XP at the time.
The pop-ups for Windows 7 will double as a shop window for Microsoft to sell you a newer operating system. Alternatively, you can buy a new licence from the Microsoft website. There are special rates for students and the disabled.