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Microsoft's product retirements could affect your organisation

Microsoft-End-of-Life

No doubt you have already heard about the upcoming retirement of a whole range of Microsoft products within the next few months and hopefully you have plans a foot to discontinue their use and replace them with alternative solutions. When the product cycle comes to an end there will no longer be any security updates produced against newly emerged threats and Microsoft will no longer provide any support for the product. 

Microsoft will sunset the following products on January 14 2020 :

• Windows 7
• Windows 7 Professional for Embedded Systems
• Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2

There is a significant risk in continuing to use these products past their extended support dates. They remain open to new vulnerabilities and you can expect no support from the vendor unless you are able to strike a separate agreement with them for continued support. These agreements  are usually discretionary and always eye wateringly expensive. 

A good example of customers willing to accept this risk and continue using End of Life products is the WannaCry outbreak. This impacted 42 separate NHS trusts in 2016 who were still running Windows XP past the end of Life date.  

It's still not too late to get back on track with update versions of the product. There are well defined upgrade paths from Microsoft explaining what your options are to upgrade along with tooling to make sure any downstream applications will continue to work after your upgrade. These include checklists, Application compatibility directories and useful FAQs. 

Windows 7 machines will generally need to be replaced with more powerful hardware to handle the Windows 10 operating system.

Another date to add to your diary is 13 October 2020, which is when Microsoft Exchange 2010 will reach end of support.

Exchange 2010 will require a side by side upgrade to either Exchange 2019 or a move to Office 365 for cloud based messaging capabilities.

These upgrade activities shouldn’t be taken lightly and Novosco are available to help you plan and execute this work. Upgrades typically require a discovery phase to confirm what dependencies are out there before contacting suppliers to confirm that their dependent products are ready for the latest version of the OS or application.

Please get in touch with your account manager now to discuss upgrading these products before Christmas 2019 if you are still using them.

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