Stop Using Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 – Do It Now!


Few of us are big fans of change. It can be easier to keep going down that same path or use that same computer software; it’s comfortable and familiar. However, as of January 10, 2023, Microsoft has stopped providing support for Windows 8.1, which means you need to change.

If you’re still on Windows 7, it’s time. Microsoft stopped providing security updates and technical support for that in January 2020, and its extended service update (ESU) period is over. There’s no ESU program for Windows 8.1.

Microsoft recommends moving to a new device that can run Windows 11. They warn against “performance and reliability issues” with older, unsupported operating systems. Another option? Upgrade your current device and install a newer operating system on it.

You might be suspicious, thinking, “they just want more of my money,” but the manufacturer has already provided support for these tools for ten years. Plus, computing is changing enough that they must keep up with new iterations of Windows. So then, they focus on keeping the latest releases updated and secure.

Bottom line: Upgrade or get breached!

In our business, we see this all of the time. We’ll get called to perform an IT Assessment, only to find that the prospect uses a mixed bag of operating systems. Some companies, believe it or not, are still using Windows XP!

Of course, we tell them that they need to upgrade. If they balk—we walk. Reason: using anything below Windows 10 puts a business directly in the cross-hairs of every hacker on the planet!

Criminals—from multi-billion dollar underground organizations to one-off wannabe hackers—have tools to test the system you’re currently using. Old, unsupported Operating Systems scream opportunity to hackers.

How big is the upgrade problem?

According to Statcounter, as of Feb 2023, 19% are using Windows 11, and 73% are on Windows 10. The remaining users (8%) are on older Windows Systems.

Microsoft says there are about 1.5 billion Windows users. Even if we reduce this number to 1 billion, the above stats mean 80 million users are on older, unsupported Windows systems. Many are businesses!

Benefits of upgrading to Windows 11

Cybercriminals know that businesses, especially small companies, will wait to make the change, and they find ways to exploit the weaknesses of unsupported software. You are particularly vulnerable when using Windows 7 or 8.1.

Windows 11 is the latest Microsoft offering. They have worked to reduce risk from the latest cybersecurity threats. With Windows 11, you can better protect your files and cut the risk of today’s viruses and malware.

The new operating system is built to be more efficient. Microsoft has tweaked the Windows layout and navigation to help users find what they need and perform tasks more efficiently.


Upgrading to Windows 11 from 7 or 8 isn’t free. Only Windows 10 users can upgrade at no cost. Also, to upgrade to a Windows 11-compatible device, you’ll need to get a security chip called TPM 2.0. You’ll unlikely find that chip on a computer over four years old.

Keeping programs up-to-date and patched are vital to cybersecurity. However, when the time comes, it is just as important to know when to retire an old system and upgrade to a newer one. For systems older than Windows 10, that time has come.

Don’t make your business “low-hanging fruit.” Be safe.

Need help with your Windows software? We can help. Contact us today at [email protected] or call (845) 362-9675.

XSolutions is an IT Services Provider serving New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), and Connecticut (CT). We provide Managed IT Services | Managed IT Security | Backup & Disaster Recovery| Cloud Data Protection | Security Awareness Training. Call (845) 362-9675 for a free consultation.