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In less than six months, Microsoft will be ending the support of several of their legacy products:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Office 2010
  • Exchange 2011
  • Small Business Server 2011

Experts estimate that 1 in 3 businesses rely on at least one of these software packages daily, which could lead to numerous issues when 14th January 2020 comes around.

Like many software portfolios, Microsoft’s have a lifecycle start date, a mainstream support date and finally, an extended support end date — these dates will typically span across an 8 to 10 year period, but on occasion longer. As soon as this date passes, users are still able to use the software, but they would be doing so at their own risk as Microsoft (in this instance) will not be supporting, fixing or patching the software.

This could lead to more than a few problems:

  1. If it breaks, it won’t get fixed
  2. If you come across a bug or problem, support won’t be provided by Microsoft
  3. Your business will not be compliant with the 2018 Data Protection Act as End of Life software is not deemed suitable
  4. End of Life software is a honeypot to hackers, which are constantly looking to exploit software vulnerabilities knowing that companies like Microsoft won’t spot what they are doing
  5. Some applications, for example the latest version of Sage Accounts, will not install on these older software versions. If you can get it to install, it will not run to its peak efficiency
  6. A software outage could have several other implications, from loss of productivity through to the loss of sales and damage to the reputation of your business

While January seems to be a long way off, company wide upgrades can take months to plan and execute correctly; and if your business of one of the hundreds of thousands that rely on these software packages, you need to act today.

Upgrading your soon to be obsolete software sooner rather than later will ensure that your business will be operating using efficient and compliant software packages, reducing the chance of disruption to your business to ensure that you can keep your staff and your customers happy.

This is an article from: Insight & Innovation: Issue 3 – click here to read the whole newsletter.