One year countdown to the death of Windows 7 begins

As many as 43 per cent of enterprises are still using Windows 7 despite the fact that Microsoft will officially end support for its ten-year-old operating system one year from now.

Kollective's new “Death of Windows 7” report examined the potential costs and security threats that could arise from continuing to use Windows 7 after the OS is no longer officially supported.

The firm's research found that nearly a fifth (17 percent) of IT departments don't know when the end of support deadline is while six per cent are aware of it but have yet to start planning for their migration away from Windows 7.

Companies that continue to use Microsoft's ageing OS after January 14th, 2020 will either have to pay Microsoft quite a lot for extended support or leave their systems open to cyberattacks. For example, a company with 10,000 or more machines running Windows 7 would have to pay Microsoft a fee in excess of $1.4m a year for continued support.

Migrating away from Windows 7

Even more concerning than the number of businesses still running Windows 7 is the fact that 16 per cent of IT professionals admitted to still running Windows XP and Windows Vista on some of their machines even though support for these operating systems ended over three years ago.

Kollective's CEO Dan Vetras provided further insight on the upcoming death of Windows 7, saying:

“With only a year to go, these findings should be a major cause for concern among the business community. When it came to migrating away from Windows XP it took some large enterprises as long as three years to transfer their entire systems to the new operating system, now, many firms will have to make the transition in less than 12 months. Those that fail to do so will have to pay for extended support, with the largest organizations paying more than a million dollars a year in order to remain on Windows 7.”

“Most worrying of all is that this migration is just the first step. Once businesses are on Windows 10, they will need to continuously update their systems as part of Microsoft’s new ‘Windows as a Service’ model. This means distributing increasingly frequent updates across their systems – something many IT departments will find impossible due to outdated infrastructure. At Kollective, we’re committed to raising awareness for this issue and helping enterprises solve their network challenges before it’s too late.”

If you're business is still running Windows 7, now is the time to migrate to a different OS before it's too late.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.