On January 14th 2020, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7.

The software will still run and activate, but Microsoft will stop security updates.  All companies still using Windows 7 software will do so at increased risk. There is concern among the IT community is that companies opting to remain on Windows 7 will become prime targets for malware and viruses.

In many ways, staying on Windows 7 creates unnecessary risk, exposing your company’s data and resources. But the transition to Windows 10 can be tricky, if not properly planned. Businesses will have to decide between upgrading their existing computers with new software or switching to a completely new system.

What Should I Do?

According to Microsoft, in order “to take advantage of the latest hardware capabilities, we recommend moving to a new PC with Windows 10. As an alternative, compatible Windows 7 PCs can be upgraded by purchasing and installing a full version of the software.”

The reason Microsoft encourages businesses to update to Windows 10 on a new device is that older computers may not be compatible with new software and/or may experience reduced feature availability. If it’s possible to stay on old hardware without reducing feature availability, then this may be a good option. Otherwise, you’ll want to replace everything.

It’s worth noting that Internet Explorer follows the support lifecycle of whatever Windows operating system it is installed on. Therefore, it will be discontinued, too. If you’re using Internet Explorer, make sure to look into alternative browsers.

Although it will likely be a costly upgrade older systems, in the long run, it makes the most sense to upgrade completely. One way to look at the issue is to see it as an opportunity to improve your business, gain access to lighter, faster, and more powerful computers, and to upgrade to an operating system designed to help you be more efficient and safe.