Are you still using Windows 7 on your work computer? Do you have servers in your office that have Microsoft Server 2008 installed on them? If so, then there are a few important things you need to know regarding these and similar Microsoft products.
On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end support for many popular operating systems and software platforms used by businesses today. The most important of these are Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2, and Microsoft Exchange 2010. Support for Office 2010 will end in October of 2020.
What does this mean for you?
Regarding workstations, this means that you have less than a year to upgrade or replace your current Windows 7 workstation with a new Windows 10 setup. While that might not seem too daunting on an individual level, if you have 20 workstations at your office, then replacing or upgrading all of them can become an major project and headache! The same applies if you need to replace any 2008 R2 servers or 2010 Exchange servers.
What if you use Sage 100 on a server or workstation that is affected by the Microsoft retirements?
If you need to replace a 2008 R2 server that is also your Sage 100 server:
- In most cases, it makes sense to upgrade your Sage 100 version at the same time that it is moved to a new server, as an upgrade and server move involve many of the same steps. Bennett/Porter can assist you with upgrading Sage 100 and moving the installation to a new server – or with just moving the Sage 100 installation if you’re already on the latest version.
- If you’re using Sage 100 version 2016, something to keep in mind when planning your server upgrade is that this Sage 100 version will be retired by Sage on September 30, 2019.
- Windows Server 2019 is not currently compatible with the latest Sage 100 version (2018). While it is possible the next Sage 100 version (2019) will be compatible with Windows Server 2019, that information has not been released by Sage yet. Conservatively, we recommend not upgrading higher than to Windows Server 2016 at this time.
If you need to replace a Windows 7 workstation that runs Sage 100, please be aware that only Sage 100 versions 2015 and higher are compatible with the Windows 10 workstation operating system. If you are on an older Sage 100 version, an upgrade of Sage will be required for workstation compatibility.
Why are these Microsoft retirements happening?
Microsoft will be ending support for these software platforms in order to continue offering up-to-date support for more modern operating systems, with better security and underlying code. Not upgrading in time makes your computer or server vulnerable to attacks and without a clear path for support. Here is a direct statement from Microsoft regarding Windows 7:
"Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that we can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences. The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your PC will no longer be made available for the product. Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available."
What doesn't this mean for you?
These changes won't impact the attentive service and support you have come to rely on from Bennett/Porter. Whether you need to upgrade Sage, trade out just a few hardware components, or use these changes as an opportunity to update your entire network, our teams are ready to assist your teams. Even if you opt not to upgrade any networking components, we will support your existing operating systems and applications to the best of our abilities.
What do you need to do?
If you're concerned about the implications of Microsoft's retirements and/or how they influence your use of Sage, we recommend first getting in touch with us. Every situation will be different, and we are happy to understand yours at a detailed level and advise you on the implications of compatibility and upgrading.
We'll work with you to identify whether or not you have equipment in your office impacted by these end-of-life protocols. With our recommendations in mind, you can determine what needs to be replaced, upgraded, discarded, or left alone. Now is also a good time for us to make sure that the everyday software you use is compatible with current operating systems. Those questions will need to be answered before decisions are made.
If Bennett/Porter handles your IT or Cloud services, we can quote you replacement machines, servers, services, and software. We can also assist you if you handle your own IT or outsource to another company. If your Sage 100 installation will need to be moved and/or upgraded for compatibility with new server or workstation operating systems, our consultants will work with you to begin planning your project.
However, don't wait too long to act! Many of our clients will want to do their hardware and Sage 100 upgrades at the last moment, and you don't want to be waiting in line when January comes around.
Let us know how we can help you get through this as efficiently as possible!