The short answer to this question is yes. As we covered in Part 1, at some point, most major pieces of software you work with daily have manufacturer support that eventually ends, even your beloved copy of Windows 7. Yes, it’s about time to let it go and update to Windows 10.
Once software reaches its end-of-life, it no longer receives security and feature updates and any sort of online or phone support. This makes it immediately more vulnerable to the ever-increasing number of cybersecurity threats in the world. In the case of the aforementioned Windows 7, this date is January 14, 2020.
What should I do about it?
There are a few simple things to keep in mind that will minimize the aggravation of keeping all your software up-to-date:
- Opt for cloud service options rather than boxed releases of software. Rather than pay a flat fee upfront, you typically pay to use the product annually. With this plan, you never have to worry about end-of-life dates or buying new retail releases in the future. Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, and Adobe Creative Suite now offer cloud subscription variants of their software.
- Stay on the latest operating system (OS). Most people shy away from upgrading or installing a new OS right when it releases, and that is good practice, to a point. After the first few months, you should consider moving forward to leave behind any old vulnerabilities or slowdowns caused by old operating systems.
How can I find out if I have software reaching its end-of-life?
Each manufacturer has a different policy for ending support of its software, but here’s where you can check on some of the most common:
- Microsoft: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle
- Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624
- Adobe: https://helpx.adobe.com/support/programs/eol-matrix.html
- Google Chromebooks: https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6220366?hl=en
- QuickBooks: https://community.intuit.com/articles/1501193-quickbooks-desktop-service-discontinuation-disco-policy-and-upgrade-information
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