Planning for your software’s end of life

The year 2020 is going to be a significant year for Microsoft technology.  Remember when Windows XP retired back in April 2014 after a 12 year run?  Well… it’s time for another round of technologies to enter retirement:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • Office 2010
  • Exchange Server 2010

These software systems have been around for nearly 10 years and will come to the end of their life cycle in 2020.  Most people will be impacted by the loss of support for Windows 7 and Office 2010.  These are widely used applications and have enjoyed a long run by both home and business users.  End of life means Microsoft stops maintaining these software versions with feature updates and bug fixes.  The software becomes dead and stops evolving.  As with many things, when you stop growing, you start dying.

Practically speaking, many people may not see this as a problem since these versions are probably taking care of you just fine for now and in the foreseeable future.  However, you should consider a couple of reasons for upgrading software:  security & stability.

We all want our technology to work reliably and fast without any data corruption, inconvenient lock ups, cryptic blue screens or error codes.  We also want our information to stay secure from unauthorized access and malicious actors seeking to hold our data for ransom.   These are some of the most compelling reasons to keep your software systems, like Windows & Office software, up to date and fully patched.  In addition to Microsoft innovating new features and functionality, they also continue to fix software defects.  Software defects expose vulnerabilities that malicious actors take advantage of or defects that cause instability or incompatibility with other devices.  

Upgrading seems like a drag on your time and finances but it’s cost of ownership when we use technology as an enabler to do more.  Now, more than ever, security and stability are essential as more aspects of our lives and information becomes digitized, automated, inter-connected and online.  

BTW:  Did you know some versions of Windows 10 are already out of support?  The current version of Windows 10 will also be end of life in April 2020!  I’ll write more on this later!

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