Navigating Your Old Operating System After "End of Life"

October 10th, 2017 by admin

On January 12, 2015 you might have called Microsoft support for help with your Windows 7 and found a benevolent and ecstatic customer support representative waiting on the other side. (Okay maybe not so benevolent…but they would be there!) However, on January 13, 2015, mainstream support was cut off completely and you would get crickets after calling in for support. End of Life (EOL) is an important factor to consider in both personal and business decisions. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered on the basics of EOL and some tips on how to make transitions smoother. In simple terms, "End of Life" is what we call the closing of OS support for a particular OS version. For Windows, this would be the mainstream support end of Windows 8 that’s coming up next year. For Mac OS, there isn’t really an EOL cutoff event, instead, features are slowly unavailable or incompatible with your computer until you get fed up and buy the newer model. Here are four tips to ensure EOL expertise:

1. Stay Informed

Knowledge is power when it comes to deadlines. If you don’t know EOL cycles or when they happen, you won’t be prepared to make changes or upgrades that are needed. For Windows, you can always check this Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet that has the EOL dates for all recent and upcoming support deadlines. Windows keeps this page up to date and it (or a similar page) will always be around.

2. Know the Different Support Types

If you check the Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet, you’ll notice deadlines happen every three years or so. You’ll also notice there is an end of Mainstream Support and Extended Support. Mainstream Support refers to email or phone support with a representative and Extended Support includes updates and patches.

3. Upgrade Before Extended Support EOL

Using an OS past its extended support EOL is ill-advised and risky. There is a lot that can go wrong when a dated OS tries to interact with modern programs and features. There are also much fewer options for help when things (inevitably) go wrong.

4. Act Preemptively

One of the most important things to consider when it comes to EOL is how long it will take to upgrade your business or home. Migrating to a new OS can be costly and time consuming but it will have to be done eventually. If you wait too long it might become costly as key features or functions are not compatible anymore. It’s important to make an informed decision. If stakes are high, consider consulting IT professionals about the best way to manage the situation.  It’s time for the EOL of this post, but hopefully you’ve found some of this information useful or interesting. If you are looking for some more reading, be sure to check out our related articles below.   Kender Ostlund

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