Microsoft Germany’s Windows boss blasts the operating system for being "outdated".
Despite being three years away from the end of its lifecycle, Windows 7 is no longer fit for business use, according to a leading executive at Microsoft Germany.
While Windows 7 will receive regular security updates until 2020, the operating system lacks the security needed to deal with modern threats, according to Markus Nitschke, head of Windows at Microsoft Germany.
Basic support for Windows 7 ended two years ago, and since then the operating system has suffered from higher operating costs and downtime due to malware attacks, and a general lack of support for newer hardware peripherals, Nitschke wrote in a blog post.
"Even today, (Windows 7) fails to meet the needs of modern technology and the high standards of security required by IT departments," said Nitschke.
Support for the Windows 7 platform is due to end in January 2020, at which point customers still using the OS will no longer receive security updates or technical support from Microsoft. But Nitschke's blog post argues that companies not planning a transition away from Windows 7 within three years face "enormous dangers".
"As we saw with Windows XP, companies should start making the switch early to avoid risks and costs later on," Nitschke added.
While Microsoft counts 400 million devices running its newest operating system, Windows 10, as of December 2016, Windows 7's userbase was still double that of Windows 10, with 7 running on 48.34% of desktop and laptop devices and 10 running on 24.36%, according to NetMarketShare.
The blog post refers to services such as Cortana and Windows Ink, both new features with Windows 10. The post does not mention the extra layers of security businesses might employ to increase overall protection.
As with any older platforms, users are likely to encounter increasing compatibility issues and, as the blog post points out, "Windows 10 is the only version of Windows that offers support for the latest chips from Intel, AMD and Qualcomm".
Windows 7, released in 2009, was "developed for the wireless world of the late 2000s", but Nitschke said the platform was built on outdated security architectures and, since basic support ended, it hasn't been upgraded with any new features.
In contrast, users on Windows 10 can take advantage of improved security through Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, and Microsoft has boasted that the latest Anniversary Update was able to stamp out exploits before they were specifically patched.