The Windows 7 Operating system, first released in October 2009, reaches what Microsoft call ‘End of Life’ on the 14th of January 2020. Microsoft will no longer update or support Windows 7 after this date. Crucially, this means that critical and security patches will no longer be released.
Any security vulnerability uncovered in Windows 7 after this date will not be fixed and any systems connected to the Engineering network that continue to run Windows 7 will pose a known security risk to the Department and University.
The Department’s Information and Computing Services team are gathering information on all Windows 7 devices connected to the Engineering network and will be contacting the owners to assist with a Windows 10 upgrade or replacement.
The IT team will assist with devices which are owned by the Department but not connected to the network at request, but these will be a lower priority that the devices on site. Devices not owned by the Department and not using the network, such as personal laptops on Eduroam, are out of scope of this project.
Windows 7 Policy
The policy for addressing end of life Windows 7 devices connected to the Engineering network is as follows
- Upgrade – Computers under 5 years old will be upgraded to Windows 10. ICS staff will assist with migrating data and applications to the new operating system.
- Replace – Computers 5 years and older will need to be replaced. ICS will provide recommendations and assist with backup and migration of data from the old machine to the new.
- Quarantine – Computers that cannot be upgraded, such as those that are connected to specialised research equipment, will be put into a restricted network area with limited network and internet access.
- Disconnect – Computers that are too old to be upgraded will be disconnected from the Engineering network.
Exceptions to the policy will be carefully considered, so that everything is done to avoid disrupting critical research or teaching in the Department. Any cases that arise will be referred to Dan Sexton, Head of ICS, who will work to find a reasonable way forward in consultation with Heads of Division, Deputy Heads and the Head of Department as appropriate.