The countdown is on: Preparing for the end of Windows 7 & Server 2008 Extended Support Updates

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Upgrading to a new operating system can be a fraught process. Stubborn legacy applications can prove to be a roadblock to a clear path to adoption, while also adding complexity to a planned cloud migration. As a result, many organisations are finding themselves in the undesired position of needing to purchase costly Extended Support Updates (ESUs) for end-of-life Windows operating systems, with Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 reaching their official end-of-life dates back in January 2020. 

Doing so is proving detrimental in terms of expense, with many businesses expected to pay as much as £1m for ESUs in January 2022 to cover just 5000 Windows 7 Professional desktops. Not only this, but time is also running out to find a long-term solution as ESUs come to end on 10th January 2023. After this date, businesses will have no access to crucial security patches.

If you want to know more about how Cloudhouse can help with this challenge, read on, or download our full whitepaper here.

The Cyber Threat

The tendency to stick with Windows 7 is a widespread issue among businesses. 16% of the global installed base has remained on the system, with up to 200 million PCs worldwide still running it. It’s a wide attack surface for bad actors and cyber hackers, and to make matters worse, the number of security vulnerabilities in Windows 7 continues to increase each year. 525 specific vulnerabilities were found in the operating system during the ESU period so far, and 91% of ransomware attacks target Windows devices specifically. Windows Server 2008 is also still widely deployed for critical services so is a particular target for cyber attackers. 

Tackling compatibility issues

Compatibility has been identified as being the main issue with moving away from an end-of-life system (42%), and this can materialise from a range of specific barriers. This can include incompatible software, whether it’s desktop or server applications, hardware that may not meet minimum requirements for Windows 10 or Windows Server 2019, and lack of support for attached devices. With this in mind, it’s time for businesses to explore which solutions can simplify the migration process. 

Picking the option of repackaging with Cloudhouse Compatibility Packages allows businesses to wrap up existing software and apps and run them on modern operating systems, all at low cost, complexity, risk and as part of a permanent long-term strategy. They can be utilised on any current Windows version or any major public cloud provider, proving to be a scalable and stable approach. 

Why it’s vital to act now

The clock is ticking, and we’re now 50% of the way through the planned life of ESUs for Windows 7 and Server 2008. Security and compliance will simply become unmanageable once the deadline has passed in 18 months. The countdown is on for businesses to select, plan and deliver the technologies to futureproof their business operations. Cloudhouse can help make it happen with guaranteed solutions that bring results in days, not months.

Looking to find out more? Download our full whitepaper  here for all the details or get in touch with the Cloudhouse team to discuss how best to prepare for the end of ESUs for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.


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