Microsoft End of Life 2020 Explained

“All good things must come to an end” will be heard loud and clear come January 2020.  As with all of Microsoft’s operating systems, Mainstream and Extended Support is by Microsoft for a period of time.  Microsoft calls its products “End of Life” when the Extended Support period comes to an end.  Microsoft will stop providing monitoring and updates which would address security vulnerabilities.  Businesses and users who continue to use these products will no longer have any protection, putting their data at high risk.  On top of that, most vendors, manufacturers and developers will no longer invest resources to support their hardware/software on platforms and systems that Microsoft is no longer supporting.


Mainstream v. Extended Support

Mainstream support is available for 5 years following the date of the product’s release.  Microsoft continues to improve the system by supplying updates that fix any performance bugs that are reported.  Every now and then, Microsoft will release new features that enhance the system.  These features are based on community and developer requests.  Plus, Microsoft will push out security updates that patch any security vulnerabilities that both in-house and third-party developers find.

After mainstream support ends, Microsoft begins a 5-year period of Extended Support for the product.  From that point forward, Microsoft will only focus on providing updates that address security vulnerabilities or concerns.  You will not see any new features or design changes.  Finally, warranty claims are no longer valid or accepted during the Extended Support period.

Big corporations can purchase an Extended Support agreement with Microsoft, if they want.  This contract ensures Microsoft will continue to provide performance and operational fixes/updates to systems.  These Extended Support agreements are only available to purchase during a product’s Extended Support period. While these agreements are expensive, IT departments see value in keeping thousands of workstations operating smoothly.  One bug can be the equivalent of a wrench thrown into a well-oiled machine.

Why is January 2020 a big deal?

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will be ending their Extended Support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008/R2 and Exchange Server 2010.  That means any business or user actively using a workstation or server that is operating any of those three products/systems will immediately place their data at risk of theft, destruction or ransom.  This can easily be avoided by working with BIS in advance.

What risks should I be aware of?

Business Information Solutions is fully prepared to migrate your business to a newer operating system.  Waiting until the last few months could result in a disastrous scenario so if you are not already a client of BIS, contact us today!

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