My mother owned a GE microwave for 40 years. It died this year and I don’t think the next one will last quite as long. Planned obsolescence has long been a hallmark of the computer age. Many industries realize they can sell more products and sell more often by forcing their end of life. With computer operating systems there are several factors at play that make them expire.
One reason for Microsoft to retire an system like Windows 7 is that new app developers are always testing against the latest operating systems. Eventually they no longer want to keep supporting the customers that paid years ago, they want to support the new customers, so they put additional pressure on Microsoft to ease their customers along with upgrades.
Microsoft faces the same pressures from their internal developers. As an OS lives in the wild, hackers work every day to dream up new ways to exploit weaknesses in the systems to gain access to passwords, personal information or exploit malware like ransomware. When Microsoft learns about one of these weaknesses, they release a security patch as quickly as they can. They have been releasing patches continuously for 10 years for Windows 7, but as has been their pattern for over 2 decades, they are calling it quits on Windows 7.
So part of the motivation is profit maximizing from businesses like yours, and part of it is a reflection of the reality of our hackable world. Unlike my mother’s GE microwave, Microsoft has to spend real money every day to keep my old Windows 7 machines safe and running properly. If you have been waiting until the last minute to upgrade your Windows 7 machines: Congratulations! Today is the last minute.
Haven’t upgraded yet and need help? Give me a call. 505-819-5471
Jonathan Sandmel, CISSP