Windows 7 Reaches End of Support in Jan 2020, But Businesses Remain Concerned About Win10 Compatibility, Data Loss and Security Issues

Rafia Shaikh
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Windows 7, Microsoft's all-time-popular operating system, will stop receiving support in January 2020. As the end-of-life deadline looms nearer, it appears businesses aren't all ready to make the big move. Microsoft recently disclosed that over half of its commercial device install base has moved on to Windows 10. It also reported an 8% YoY increase in Windows 10 sales to businesses.

However, the rest of the businesses are either not ready or not even aware of the fact that in a little over a year their operating system version will become obsolete. A new report from WinMagic suggests that organizations are largely unprepared for when the support will be withdrawn in early 2020.

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The firm carried out this study during this year's IP Expo in London when it surveyed over 150 visitors to Europe's largest IT exhibition and conference on their readiness and awareness of the need to upgrade to Windows 10. The survey revealed that over 23% of businesses are yet to start preparations for the migration and 17% remain oblivious if their organizations were considering the upgrade.

It also revealed that 30% of the respondents had no idea that the support is going to end in January 2020. Other key highlights include:

  • Around one third (29 percent) are fairly or very concerned about the migration process
  • Nearly two thirds (68 percent) fear exposure to a cybersecurity vulnerability during the migration process
  • One third (33 percent) do not know if they have the right tools in place to deliver a secure migration.

Some businesses are worried about compatibility, data loss and security issues during the Windows 10 migration process

While better security is probably the foremost reason behind making the upgrade to Windows 10, this latest survey revealed that businesses are actually worried that the migration process will expose their organizations to security issues. Compatibility issues and data loss are some other concerns among businesses who are willing to make the move but are worried about the migration process itself.

  • Security and user data loss were amongst the biggest concerns (28 percent)
  • 68 percent of respondents feared the migration process could expose their organization to a security vulnerability
  • 25 percent cited application management, software and hardware compatibility concerns
  • 18 percent stated user disruption or loss of productivity

"The clock is ticking and if organizations don’t move fast they could find themselves scrabbling last minute to deliver a seamless and secure migration to Windows 10," Luke Brown, VP EMEA at WinMagic, said. "The results of our survey show that there is still limited knowledge around what will be a very significant IT transition for many organisations."

"IT teams need to act now. If they don’t, come January 2020 they could find themselves experiencing the worst ever New Year hangover.”

Once the organizations have migrated to Windows 10, they appear to be quick to make the upgrade to all the latest versions that get released to the operating system under the Windows as a Service (WaaS) model.

However, migrating its entire enterprise install base to Windows 10 by January 2020 might prove to be quite a mess for Microsoft. If this latest survey is any indication, it is likely that the Windows maker will have to push the deadline a little to accommodate its commercial consumers.

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