NOTICE: Plan for end of Windows 7 support

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

This information was sent to U-M IT staff groups August 28, 2019. It is intended for U-M IT staff who are responsible for university computers running Windows 7. It may be of interest to any Windows 7 user.

Summary

Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. That means it will no longer provide security updates or support for Windows 7. To avoid security-related risks and support issues, we ask that you upgrade to Windows 10. Begin planning now to upgrade as needed.

Action Items

  • If you have not already done so, plan to stop using Windows 7 before January 14, 2020. The number of machines running Windows 7 at the university is dropping week by week. Thank you to those of you who have already taken action!
  • If it is not possible for you to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, begin planning how you will mitigate in other ways. For example, you might remove your device from all networks or isolate it on a protected network and restrict access. If you need mitigation suggestions, contact ITS Information Assurance through the ITS Service Center.

MiWorkspace staff members are working with unit IT staff on plans to upgrade computers to Windows 10 wherever possible.

Health Information Technology & Services staff members are ensuring that Michigan Medicine devices running Windows 7 will be upgraded by October 31.

Threats

Unsupported software does not receive security updates, putting your computer at risk. Computers running Windows 7 will become increasingly vulnerable to malware and other attacks after January 14, 2020.

How We Protect U-M

  • Information Assurance (IA) is conducting monthly reviews of active university Windows 7 machines—those identifiable on Active Directory (UMROOT). The frequency of checks will likely increase as we get closer to January. IA will notify those units with Windows 7 devices.
  • Units are asked to plan to upgrade or mitigate those devices before January.

Information for Users

MiWorkspace and other university-managed machines running Windows 7 will be upgraded or otherwise remediated before January 14.

If you have Windows 7 on devices that are not managed by the university, we recommend that you upgrade to Windows 10 by January. The consultants at the U-M Computer Showcase can help you figure out what you need to do to upgrade your Windows software, whether you choose to purchase the software there or elsewhere. If you'd like someone to do the upgrade for you, the Showcase has a for-fee upgrade and installation service. If you need to upgrade to a new computer, you can review your options at the Showcase. Be sure to erase your old computer before disposing of it.

In general, the best protection for your devices is this: keep your software and apps up-to-date, do not click suspicious links in email, do not open shared documents or email attachments unless you are expecting them and trust the person who sent them, and only use secure, trusted networks. For more information, see Phishing & Suspicious Email, Secure Your Devices, and Secure Your Internet Connection on the U-M Safe Computing website.

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