Say Goodbye to Windows 7, Server 2008 R2, & Small Business Server 2011 –  All Microsoft support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Small Business Server (SBS) 2011 will end on January 14, 2020, becoming End of Life. This means that security patches and updates will no longer be implemented, leaving Windows 7 workstations and Servers on 2008/2011 vulnerable to security breaches.

Windows 7 is one of the most popular Windows operating systems ever to be released. But all good things come to an end it seems, and from January 14th, 2020, Windows 7 will no longer receive security updates, meaning that your systems, files and information could be at risk.

But with every challenge comes an opportunity. Windows 7 EOL gives you the chance to move on from your old platforms, or rather forces you to, opening the doors to newer technology and the infrastructure behind a modern workplace.

Moving operating system is a painful experience, in most cases upgrading just adds to existing problems you may already be experiencing, as you migrate the issues with you. Formatting and stating with a clean slate are always the best option, but the headache to re-install and copy back your data, preferences and settings is a daunting and sometimes challenging task.

Some Windows 7 users may find upgrading to windows 10 is simply not possible, old hardware may not have driver support for windows 10, making your hardware redundant as well as the operating system. Those fortunate enough to be able to run Windows 10, may find their hardware simply below par, and spending the money on an upgrade, simply a waste of money and a futile process for a slow computer that is on old and dying hardware as the end result.

Windows 8 users should have already upgraded to 8.1 as Windows 8 ended back in 2016 and anyone still using the basic windows 8, are at high risk of security and data breaches. Windows 8.1 has a bit of life left in it, scheduled to end in January 2023, but really is already seen to be at end of life.

Business users using Windows Server also find themselves effected by End of life operating systems in the coming year. 2008 Server R2 is also ending on the same date as Windows 7, January 2020. And 2011 SBS users also find the 2020 deadline looming. Both of SBS2011 component parts (Server 2008R2 and Exchange 2010) both end in January 2020. This can mean massive upheaval for businesses as the time and cost implications of server upgrades and migrations will be a massive factor to business budgets in the last half of 2019.

Office 2010 also sees its End of life looming, current October 2020, so 18 months before switching off, however with the various incompatibility aspects with windows 10, most user will have already jumped ship long before its official end date. Office 365 being the obvious migration path, due to price and features for current 2010 office users.

Full list of Microsoft Life cycle dates below:

So, What’s the next step?

For workstations, in most cases the most cost-effective solution is to replace the machine, as the cost of purchasing the operating system (£120 for Pro) and the time to re-install the operating system and recover reload the data can be 50% towards a new machine. New hardware (with Windows10 included) can start from as little as £299 with a 12-month hardware warranty. So unless the hardware is of a significantly high specification or purpose built, where a direct replacement is expensive, then upgrading old hardware just isn’t economically viable.

Servers, in this position are usually a good few years old, so upgrading them isn’t usually justifiable, and with Server operating systems, drivers for older technology can be difficult to obtain as manufactures just don’t provide them for old hardware.

What does this mean for me?

In most cases it’s going to mean a cost outlay of some degree, for servers it can be a significant outlay, which can affect a business’s cash flow or seriously impede development and growth if capital is being re-invested into IT hardware. There are no real escapes from the fact that inside 9 months’ time, your business will be requiring an upgrade of some sort. Business’s simply can’t take the risks to security and data breaches, especially with the recent introduction of GDPR requirements. Security is paramount.

Our Best advice is to start planning, and saving so you can upgrade/migrate in a controlled and cost effective way, when finances allow and any down time can be planned.

Cost implications

IT Total Solutions have a wide range of suitable hardware available for clients in this position, from new retails products to our popular Re-New products, which can have between 40-60% cost saving for refurbished products over new retail equivalents. All carry a full warranty and are the most cost-effective way to replace hardware that is end of life. For more information of what products are available, and suitable for your business requirements please contact us or see our hardware offers page.

If you are a business that is looking at significant investment to replace hardware, ITTS have a number of Asset finance solutions available, where hardware costs can be spread over 3-5 years that can be made Tax beneficial. If you would like to know what Asset finance options are available, or for more information please contact us.


At IT Total Solutions we are committed to providing unbiased, independent guidance and advise to our clients, we are here to help, so please feel free to contact us for a no obligation chat for any help and advice.

“What we do today, ensures you have a business tomorrow”!

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