End of extended support (EoS) is a significant event in the life of any Microsoft Product. The upside is all the new features to implement and support. If we’ve learned anything from EoS for other products, its that the only downside comes when we wait too long to begin preparing for the migration to the new, current platform. Suddenly there are no more security updates and we become the prime target for hackers. Become your company’s hero and be the one who convinces them to prepare early and migrate in a timely and orderly fashion.
“It still works. Why bother upgrading?”
It’s the software variation of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It’s also an open invitation to disaster for anyone who doesn’t consider the implications of Microsoft’s “end of extended support” policy.
This is The End
There are actually two “end of life” events for Microsoft products. When the first one is reached, it means that all future development on the product has ceased with further work going into the next version to be released. The software isn’t quite dead yet.
When the end of extended support is reached for any given Microsoft product, stick a fork in it. It’s done. Anyone foolish enough to continue using it deserves what they get.
What do they get?
When Extended Support Ends…
Many think that the end of support means nobody will answer questions about that product any more. That’s the painless part.
The painful part is that all updates, upgrades, and patches, including critical security patches, cease coming through Windows Update. No more. Finished. Kaput. However well protected the platform was the day before end of extended support is how well that platform will ever be protected.
Nothing will protect those systems when new exploits are released “into the wild.” Without updated signatures, they will be helpless to resist the attacks.
But it gets worse.
Those bad actors, fraudsters, hackers, and other evildoers all KNOW that your product is getting no security updates. At that point, those operating systems become the favorite target of every hacker in creation. They all go after the remaining users and wreak havoc. It is by no means pretty.
Learning the Lessons of History
The two longest running products in Microsoft history were Windows XL and Windows Server 2003. It was in 2016, fully thirteen years since their release, that Microsoft finally called it. Windows 7 and 8 were already in market as was Windows Server 2012, yet hundreds of thousands of users had not yet migrated to anything new. In fact, at the beginning of 2019 it was estimated that 2% of Windows users are still using Windows XP.
Microsoft and its partners started warning users more than two years before the end. As you’d expect, most users ignored those warnings. But for each network there is a logical amount of time needed to perform all the functions required to update to a new platform. This period is measured in months, many months. Despite clamoring from the Microsoft community, users simply procrastinated until many of them were well past the time when they would be able to complete their migration in time.
Some scrambled, and others threw their hands up in resignation to the idea that they would be exposed without security updates. They had no idea what they were in for.
Many spent way more for an emergency transition than they would have had they upgraded in time. Others spent more trying to band-aid all the damage.
Here We Go Again
You can be your company’s hero by training now to perform their much needed upgrade to a new platform before the existing one goes into end of extended support. Spare your employers months or years of pain and disruption by avoiding the use of unprotected software. Learn about upgrade migrations today. Talk to your New Horizons Career Counselor about exactly which courses to take.