Windows 7: Everything new is old again

Setting up parental controls on Windows 7

Windows 7 logoSometimes in the security business it feels like you are always the bearer of bad news.

Now that you have almost eliminated Windows XP from your network and settled on Windows 7 (I am not even going to entertain the idea someone is on Vista or loves having “tiles” on their 30″ HiDPI display) it is time to let you down slowly.

Windows 7 has reached the end of mainstream support. Yes, we are already 5 years into the official launch of Windows 7.

Microsoft commits to 10 years of security fixes and 5 years of feature enhancements and bug fixes for each major OS release.

Seems like only yesterday that I wrote about malware still being viable on Windows 7, drawing the ire of Redmond executives.

Let’s be clear. Windows 7 still has five years, but if you are just finishing your last migration, then you don’t have all that much time to start planning the next one.

If we compare Windows to some other options, 10 years is a long time.

For example, OS X is supported for mystery years, iOS for mystery years (3?) and Android seems to leave it up to you, but don’t expect Google to commit to securing it.

Linux users can hardly fare better. Ubuntu LTS is around 5 years of support, with Red Hat Enterprise taking the lead at 13 years (with extended support).

If I close my eyes I think I can hear millions of IT administrators around the world hoping Windows 10 is successful.

We hope users will embrace Windows 10 so we can begin migrating early in the cycle rather than waiting until the last possible moment (XP anyone?).

Don’t forget though, Windows 7 officially launched in 2009 and yet in mid-2014 we still had XP all over our networks like a bad rash. Seems unlikely we have learned our lesson.

In the hopes we don’t commit our XP sins again, this is a reminder. Upgrade early, upgrade often. If you don’t like the hamster wheel, consider your alternatives.

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