Network Essentials has been around 17 years, and we watched the Windows XP end of life movie and it was not fun at the end for companies that were not proactively replacing XP machines before the end of life support date hit.
What end of life of an operating system means to small business. Essentially it means that Microsoft will no longer support the operating system and will not be proactively repairing issues found in the code that is the main reason for patch Tuesday -where your systems should be being patched from flaws in the code which could potentially allow someone access to your computer - to your entire network if it isn't well managed.
We see the train wreck coming again with Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 end of life mid January 2020. When XP was sent to "end of life" there was a 90 back order in December which made any company driven by any of the major compliance regulations were immediately out of compliance. That being said, the downside to waiting will be the lack of inventory available to get replacement machines in time to meet deadlines. Also, having skilled project teams available to do the migration, as I am sure our team will be scheduled out even though we have all our clients budgeted and actively migrating today. (I am a member of a HTG peer group that is specific for Managed IT service providers and we all have the same concerns). The last major concern is licensing compliance audits with Microsoft for all the machines that were upgraded to Windows 10 that were against the terms and conditions of the upgrade. This will cost companies a lot of money because they will be forced to go through the entire process of justifying all MS licensing which is painful.
If you need to consult with an IT Technology service provider with trained analyst skilled doing thousands of migrations please contact us and book an appointment so that we can review your technology, help you build a proper plan / budget and drive a successful migration to Windows 10 and or Windows Server 2016 before Windows 7 / Windows server 2008 comes to end of life in Jan 2020.
By Kyle Elworthy, CISSP, Founder of Network Essentials in 2002