The End Is Nigh!

Paul Godfrey, IT Support Specialist 17 September 2019

Microsoft Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 End of Life


Starting with Windows 7, the product end of life will occur January 14, 2020. After this time, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for PCs running Windows 7.

Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring!! But seriously, if this message reaches you for the first time then you only have a few months to prepare your business. January is going to be a really busy month for Microsoft; not only are they going end of life for Windows 7, but also the trusty Windows Server 2008 R2 is being canned for support and patches. Just think how many Small Business Server 2011 installations are still out there sitting on Windows Server 2008 R2 environments. I dread to think!

Don’t be caught out by the change! Those who continue to run Windows 7 after this time will become more vulnerable to security risks, as well as miss out on the latest functionalities that Windows has to offer
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The simple fact that 39% of all PCs still use Windows 7 shows that a huge segment of the market have let things slip, so you won’t be alone if you have stuck your head in the sand. If you choose to continue using Windows 7, your IT support company may take a dim view when it comes to supporting you in the future without an upgrade. If you are facing a potential lack of IT support, then you may seriously want to consider making a change and upgrading your systems. Don't get me wrong, Windows 7 was a gem. Possibly before Windows 10 came out, Windows 7 was the best operation system Microsoft released. But the death knell for Windows 7 is tolling, and it’s time to take action.  

Without trying to sound like a sales rep for Microsoft, now is the time to upgrade to Windows 10!  Offering the latest Windows platform, security and features, it is the easiest path to transition away from Windows 7.  There are, however, some important factors you need to consider:

  • Will I be able to upgrade to Windows 10? 
  • Will my hardware even support it?
  • Will my 10-year-old bespoke CRM platform be able to sit on Windows 10 environment
All these questions need to be resolved soon or you might be stuck.


You may say that Microsoft in their infinite wisdom will be offering a 3-year Extended support contract, but this is on a device by device basis and for a majority of you, this will be wholly cost prohibitive.


Windows 7 (per device):

  • Year 1 - £20
  • Year 2 - £40
  • Year 3 - £80

Windows 7 Pro (per device):

  • Year 1 - £40
  • Year 2 - £80
  • Year 3 - £150

It is important to bear in mind that the minimum specification for Window 10 bare metal install is as follows: 

  •  Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC.
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
  • Display: 800 x 600 resolution

If you are above this specification, max upgrade the memory if you can and upgrade to Windows 10 before it all goes horribly wrong. 

On January 14th, 2020 we also say goodbye to support for Windows Server 2008/2008 R2. Until this date you can still get support and patches, however after that date there will be no more security updates, which is a risk to your business, data, applications and infrastructure. So, what does this mean for you? 


What’s the difference between End Of Support And End Of Life?

The difference is that end of support means Microsoft will no longer provide security patches, hot fixes or technical support, whereas end of life means Microsoft will typically no longer sell the product or offer assistance at all. End of life indicates that the product is obsolete, and it is recommended that you no longer use the product.

For Windows and SQL Server 2008, the end of mainstream support already occurred in 2014/2015. We’re now faced with the end of the extended support that Microsoft had provided, meaning January 14th, 2020 is essentially the official retirement date for these two products.


What Does The Windows 2008 And SQL Server 2008 End Of Life Deadline Mean For You?

These upcoming changes mean that if you’re still running Windows/SQL Server 2008, then now is the time to start planning your next move. Securely and accurately updating an IT infrastructure is a large, complicated task, and your time to complete this is now rapidly running out. If you don’t do anything, your company’s infrastructure won’t be secure when the deadline hits. Your machines will be running at your own risk – but with an ever-increasing amount of cyber-attacks being reported, this isn’t recommended at all. This is not a time to stick your head in the sand and hope you will be OK, you really need to be talking to you IT provider or in-house technicians to devise a strategy of migration before it’s too late. 

You will hear a lot about the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 end of life process in the press, and hopefully from your own IT support provider, and a lot of you will have already made the switch. But if you haven’t been contacted by your provider, you might want to review your existing support company, take a look around and move your services over to a Professional Managed Service Provider.

Above all, act on it now, and if you need a hand then contact us today!