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Windows 7 Operating System Set to Retire

Posted: June 4, 2019

Microsoft introduced the Windows 7 operating system in 2009. After ten years of dedicated service, Microsoft has announced its retirement date of December 31, 2019. Those of us who toil for Penn State usually need more than ten years before retirement – it must be nice to be a part of Microsoft!

As many of the PC users out there know, we have been migrating Windows 7 computers to Windows 10 since early January. This was as a result of Microsoft’s announced end of extended support for Windows 7, effective January 2020. End of extended support means that Microsoft will no longer support, enhance or provide security updates to Windows 7.

At the start of the year we had approximately 1300 Windows 7 computers in the entire College, including about 470 in our county extension offices. Thanks to the hard work of Ag IT and the patience and support of our users, that total number is down to 440 (169 in the counties) as of 5/28. So far, the upgrades have gone smoothly and our users seem to have adapted quickly to the new Windows 10 interface.

Our goal is to have the remaining Windows 7 computers upgraded, replaced or removed from service by the end of July. From the start, we were required to establish a minimum computer age and minimum specs, below which an upgrade could not occur. Those machines will have to be replaced. In some cases, users have decided that an old machine is no longer needed and can be simply sent to salvage. Users and units who own those older systems have been alerted and are making plans for replacement or disposal.

While we technically have until the end of the year to remove Windows 7 from our systems, the existence of several other large, College-wide projects leaves us a bit constrained for time this year. Therefore, we’d like to finish the Windows 10 migration project as soon as possible, so that we can move on to our other projects.

If you manage a computer still running Windows 7 and you have not yet heard from your Ag IT consultant, please feel free to reach out to your consultant and arrange a time for the upgrade. Upgrades usually occur in the evenings but can be done anytime that is convenient to you. They typically take 3-4 hours.