Windows 7 End of Life: what it means for companies

2019-10-29T11:03:51+01:00October 22nd, 2019|

January 14, 2020 it’s almost here and Microsoft will end the extended support period for the Windows 7 operating system. This is the last scheduled one, after the Mainstream support already ended on January 13, 2015, during which Microsoft ensured full support and development of the operating system.

Yes, as early as 2015, Microsoft began to no longer develop new features for this operating system and only released solutions to functional or security “bugs”.

What will happen after January 14, 2020? Microsoft will end all support activities, including functional and security components. The operating system may continue to be used, but will remain exposed to security and compatibility risks.

Is it a risk that companies can run?

The answer is certainly NO! It is a problem to be solved by the deadline or in any case very soon. Although the period is running out, however, there are still many companies that have failed to migrate, or have only done so partially. It is expected that a significant percentage will fail to complete the migration by January 2020.

There are service extension formulas: Microsoft can quote dedicated contracts. We know that some large companies that are late in this process have requested them, but the costs are very high and duplicate from year to year. Microsoft has given a long notice to this term, the proposed solution has long been available: migrating to Windows 10 with a new lifecycle policy. But making all the desktops of a company migrate to Windows 10 is not a simple operation and it hides many problems.

What are the main critical issues in this migration?

Estimates report that 50% of problems are due to incompatibility with “legacy” applications developed over the years by companies. In addition to this we must consider the hardware requirements necessary to support Windows 10: it is estimated that 34% of PCs of previous generation is not compatible and therefore a replacement is required, with the consequent increase in migration costs.

Investments to face this migration are important, but this is also a great opportunity to introduce new tools into the company, which are essential to face the processes of digital transformation.

Managing a migration of the operating system of business desktops, maintaining the previous traditional distributed desktop logic, without seizing the opportunity to introduce a technological change, is a high investment with no return.

How can Praim help you in this context?

Many of our customers have already migrated to Windows 10. They did it with greater simplicity, as they had already adopted a solution based on virtual desktop infrastructure, VDI.

A VDI architecture allows to solve many of the listed critical issues, it offers centralized management and control tools, totally free from compatibility and security issues on workstations. Overall, a VDI architecture makes it possible to greatly accelerate the migration time to Windows 10, reduce complexity, improve company productivity and enable Smart working for all users, from any location, even multi-device.

Praim has been developing its products in this context for many years and offers a wide range of hardware and software solutions for creating and managing workstations. In addition to the specific Thin Client product, designed for these infrastructures, Praim has made available the Thin Client ThinOX operating system. Purchasable under license, ThinOX4PC allows you to convert any PC hardware into a Thin Client, introducing many advantages. Read in this article how ThinOX4PC can be a valid solution in Windows 7 migration.

And if for some specific reason some workstations in your company must remain with the local Windows operating system, you can simplify the access to them, protect them from user tampering and manage them centrally as if they were Thin Clients, but with Windows OS. For this purpose, Praim has developed Agile4PC, the solution designed to unify the Windows access interface and centrally manage profiles and support for all these endpoints.

Migration to a VDI infrastructure is not a trivial operation, it cannot be improvised and requires important investments and proper planning. Today the market offers high-performance hyperconvergence solutions that reduce costs and simplify design. Our advice is to confide in qualified partners who offer specific skills to guide the company in the technological choice. Furthermore, it is no longer mandatory to have an infrastructure in the company, but many of these services can be available directly in the Cloud, reducing the initial investment and managing a fee for the service used.

Don’t stop at the initial cost, all the resulting benefits must be carefully evaluated. The return on investment (ROI) is guaranteed by the reduction in management and support costs, by the increase in reliability, security and scalability of the system and by the resulting improved company productivity. Once a VDI solution is adopted, making a workstation available to a new collaborator in the company, or restoring a workstation, takes a few minutes and a few clicks.

Customers who have adopted these solutions for some years now have no doubts. The precursors did this before the end of Windows XP support, and they would never come back. We have customers who have been able to migrate thousands of Windows XP workstations to Windows 7 in a few days, with a dynamism that would have been impossible using a traditional architecture. Now it’s Windows 10’s turn, don’t wait for the next operating system to innovate, it might be too late.