You probably don’t want to know this, but did you know that general support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020? (less than a year from now!). After that, and this quotes the official Microsoft Windows 7 end-of-service document, "Windows will operate but you will stop receiving security and feature updates." It’s probably surprising to realize how old Windows 7 is; it will be ten years old in October 2019! Time flies when you’re applying Windows updates! (This is a good take by John Dvorak about why organizations haven’t moved beyond Windows 7–and why they should.)
The Windows 7 general end-of-service date is January 14, 2020. That’s less than a year away!
In early February, there were several news reports about the pending Windows 7 end-of-service date. These articles reported what the specific maintenance charges would be to continue to get Windows 7 security updates after January 14, 2020. According to noted Windows industry observer Mary Jo Foley, after January 14, 2020, you’ll need to pay $50, for the first year, per device, for Windows 7 Professional Version extended security updates. That price grows to $100 per device for the second year and $200 per device for the third year. Foley asked Microsoft to confirm these numbers but Microsoft would only reply: “Customers would need to work with their Microsoft account team for details on pricing.” In other words, Microsoft really wants you to stop using Windows 7. If you’re using Windows 7 in your shop, it’s wise to start planning your exit strategy now. At the very least, contact Microsoft and see how much it’s going to cost to continue to get security updates for Windows 7 after it goes end-of-service. This ZDNet article has some good Windows 7 upgrade advice, which includes how you may upgrade Windows 7 for free.
Just please die, Internet Explorer. Kthnxbai, Microsoft.Microsoft’s Chris Jackson, a Microsoft Principal Program Manager specializing in cybersecurity published an interesting blog post on Feb 6, 2019 entitled: “The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser.” Think about that! This isn’t Mozilla (the folks behind Firefox), nor it is Google (the folks behind Chrome), nor is it Apple (the folks behind Safari) saying this; it’s a Microsoft security chief! And he’s telling you to stop using Internet Explorer. In his post, Jackson clearly demoted IE from its previous position of “browser” to that of “compatibility solution.” He ends the post with this paragraph:
“You see, Internet Explorer is a compatibility solution. We’re not supporting new web standards for it and, while many sites work fine, developers by and large just aren’t testing for Internet Explorer these days. They’re testing on modern browsers. So, if we continued our previous approach, you would end up in a scenario where, by optimizing for the things you have, you end up not being able to use new apps as they come out. As new apps are coming out with greater frequency, what we want to help you do is avoid having to miss out on a progressively larger portion of the web!”
You may still have legacy apps that need IE and if so you need to keep IE on your user machines for those legacy purposes. But otherwise, get your users to a modern browser for their day-to-day browser use. With the impending death of MS Edge as we know it, this might be a great time to consider adopting Firefox (my recommendation!) or Chrome as your organization’s every-day browser.