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Your Questions Answered About Microsoft's End of Support and Making the Shift

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Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system and Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 are among the products that will reach the end of support on January 14, 2020. Microsoft Office 2010 will meet the same fate later in 2020, along with several other products. These end of support deadlines highlight the need for organizations to migrate to Windows 10, Office 365 and Windows Server 2019 to avoid technical and security disruptions.

What does end of support mean for my business?

  • Microsoft will no longer offer mainstream support for certain products as part of existing purchase agreements.
  • Business customers enter a period of extended support during which assistance is still available for a fee, depending on the product.
  • Everyone will still receive security updates, but at a much less frequent pace.

Why does this matter?

According to the IC3 Annual Report, the IC3 received 351,937 cyber complaints in 2018 – an average of more than 900 every day. If migration is not implemented once end of support is reached, it could lead to increased vulnerability as hackers work to find new security flaws in the software.

In addition, not utilizing the most up-to-date software can lead to issues with compliance and regulations such as the Payment Card Industry Security Standard (PCI DSS) or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These Information Security regulations ensure organizations remain compliant and have sound cybersecurity controls in place to reduce the risk of a cyberattack or data breach. Depending on the regulation and how long an organization is deemed to be noncompliant, fines can be issued, and authorizations can be removed.  

In the server market, Windows Server 2008 and 2012 have clearly stood the test of time. However, these products also need to make way for new technology and features that can improve the back end. This is where Windows Server 2019, which is packed with new security features and new tools to aid workflow, can really drive new levels of efficiency in your network.

Fortunately, thanks to years of steady patching and continuous support, Microsoft has left its legacy products in a pretty resilient state. However, motivated hackers and integration issues with newer technologies can harm organizations in the long run, so making the move sooner rather than later is key.

What should I do next?

Upgrade your systems:

  • If you’re still using Windows 7, upgrade to Windows 10.
  • If you’re still on Office 2010 or Exchange 2010, upgrade to Office 365.
  • For Windows Server 2008, upgrade to Windows Server 2019.

One of the best ways to move forward with making the shift is to engage an experienced managed services provider. FNTS helps organizations navigate the shift to Windows 10 and Office 365 to stay current on advances in cloud, software and data center offerings. As a certified Gold Partner with Microsoft, FNTS fully optimizes its services to fit all business models, allowing companies to work smarter and faster while increasing cost savings, security and support. Additionally, utilizing a managed services provider like FNTS provides flexibility, meaning you don’t have to commit to a long-term license agreement with Microsoft and can scale to fit your business needs.

The deadline has passed – is it too late?

If your business is still running on legacy software, you’re not alone - almost 27% of Windows users are currently still using Windows 7. Beginning the migration as soon as possible will help prepare for operational and financial impacts. Any migration is much easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a positive experience for your organization. Once completed, you can feel assured that you’re receiving the most productive and secure computing experience with premium 24-7 support.

FNTS is offering a free 30-day trial of Windows 10, Office 365 and a free Architecture Design Session to ensure services are being utilized to their fullest. Download our Quick Guide for more information.

Microsoft’s new changes can be an excellent opportunity for broader digital transformation. A trusted digital transformation advisor for enterprises worldwide, FNTS partners with the world’s most respected technology companies including Microsoft, VMware and IBM. Over the past 20 years, we have created and nurtured an expansive partner network to accommodate any technical solution a customer requires. Consult our experts to learn more about our comprehensive services and how our team can help in your success.