Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 7 in January 2020. However, many retailers still use the operating system. 40% of U.S. businesses reported they still had devices running Windows 7 one month before the end-of-life date, according to one survey.
With the end of support deadline having come and gone, some may say it’s past time to make the migration to Windows 10. But for merchants that haven’t yet, there’s no time like the present. Here’s why:
1. Microsoft’s extended support for Windows 7 is costly and only available for a limited time
For merchants still running Windows 7, the only way to continue using the operating system securely is by purchasing Microsoft’s Extended Security Updates. However, that extended support is only available until January 2023.
Further, purchasing Extended Security Updates across an enterprise will come with a hefty price tag. Extended support for Windows 7 Enterprise currently costs approximately $25 per machine, with the cost doubling to $50 per device in 2021 and doubling again to $100 in 2022. For merchants with hundreds of devices, that will quickly add up.
Migrating an entire enterprise to Windows 10 takes time, so to get ahead of these costs, retailers should start their migration sooner rather than later.
2. There are several risks to running an unsupported operating system
Without the regular security updates that come with a supported operating system, merchants are up against many risks. Chief among those risks are damaging, costly security breaches.
In addition, running an unsupported operating system has implications for PCI compliance and chargeback rates. It’s possible that banks may decline to do business with a retailer with increased vulnerability or raise chargeback fees to compensate for the risk.
Another possibility for retailers is that software developers, such as the developers of POS software, may stop supporting versions running on Windows 7. Application failures caused by an out-of-date operating system should also be a key concern for retailers.
3. Enable new technology capabilities
PCs and servers serve as the unsung infrastructure supporting a broad range of new store devices and backoffice functionality, and need to be operating at peak capability to enable the exciting new technologies layered on top.
By upgrading to the latest and greatest operating system, you will be able to implement and take advantage of new technological advancements that improve your business’ operations and the customer experience.
Working expediently toward upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is smart business for retail organizations seeking to reduce the risks and costs that come from using outdated operating systems. Whether you need to make a plan for your migration or put your existing plan in motion, Level 10 can help.