Expenses, Taxes, Downtime and Windows End of Life

Aug 21, 2019 | Windows Operating Systems

If your business is still using Windows 7 on its machines, you are not alone. As of earlier this year, 43% percent of businesses were still running Windows 7, which isn’t too surprising since it’s one of the most popular operating systems ever. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.

Support for this operating system ends on January 14, 2020. Afterward, Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates. If you are still running Windows 7, you have two choices: You can either pay more for extended support or you can do nothing. But by doing nothing, you will be opening your business up to cyberattacks.

With less than five months left before support ends, it’s crucial to start preparing now. Transitioning to a new operating system may take months and require new hardware. The earlier you start planning, the more prepared your staff will be.

The costs associated with upgrading operating systems depends on how old your computers are and what applications you use in your business. You may discover that you can easily upgrade to a new operating system, but in doing so, you may need to acquire completely new hardware. If you require new computers and servers, the cost will be significant and preparing in advance is crucial.

Will it be better for your business to make large purchases in 2019 or 2020? Spreading the expenses out over several months may be preferred. Considering the impact on taxes is also crucial. Another alternative to purchasing brand new equipment is seeking out Hardware as a Service programs. Like leasing software, hardware is provided on a month-to-month basis and does not require large upfront costs.

Transitions and change in a business can cause slowdown and downtime, and planning for this is another consideration with the Windows End of Life. There is typically some time needed to adjust to a new computer, including learning new features. Perhaps, it would be best to plan for this transition toward the end of the year if that’s when your business is slowest. Or you may want to transition a set number of workstations every month to more easily manage the changes.

If your business and your employees primarily use cloud-based applications, then the transition will be easier. However, if your workstations have many applications installed, then the transition period may be longer. Some of your employees may need to use two workstations depending on what applications they have installed.

Windows 7 and Server 2008 End of Life is on January 14, 2020

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