Two thirds of businesses not prepped for death of Windows 7

Windows 7 logo in orange

IT departments aren't at all prepped for the end-of-life of Windows 7 and with almost half of businesses still running Windows 7, it's going to come as quite a shock to the system when Windows shuts down the platform in just over a year.

That's according to a survey conducted by Enterprise content delivery platform Kollective, which revealed that out of 260 businesses decision makers in the UK and US, two-thirds of businesses haven't developed a strategy to migrate to Windows 10, while a fifth of those questioned didn't even know Microsoft was withdrawing support.

A quarter of businesses said they'll leave it to the employees to update and migrate their systems to Windows 10, which leaves many businesses open to fragmentation and secrity risks if the process isn't overseen properly.

"While 500 days may seem like a long time, it took many businesses upwards of three years to transition from Windows XP to Windows 7," Jon O'Connor, solution architect at Kollective said. "Although Microsoft has since streamlined the process, we are expecting similar migration timelines for Windows 10."

However, he warned that businesses need to take the news seriously. It can take at least a month for businesses to migrate to a newer computing platform, with 27% saying there could well be network issues when upgrading machines to Windows 10.

"For large enterprises, the key will be ensuring that the update can be rolled out automatically and at scale," O'Connor added. "Unfortunately, our research suggests that many businesses simply don't have the network infrastructure needed to achieve this simultaneous update, as such many will spend months or even years migrating their systems entirely. If the January 2020 deadline is missed, this will pose a major security threat for the world's businesses."

Despite Kollective's argument that businesses are not prepared for the Windows 7 phase-out, figures released by Net Applications showed that Windows 10 adoption is rising fast and should overtake Windows 7 by November. 36.6% of total PCs are using Windows 10, representing 41.4% of Windows machines. In comparison, Windows 7 is running on 41.2% of all PCs and 46.6% of those running Windows.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.