Around 30 percent of all PC users are still using the outdated Windows 7 operating system. This is based on calculations by the security company ESET. As of Tuesday, Microsoft will no longer be offering free support for the age-old software. In addition, the group will no longer support the server operating systems Microsoft Server 2008 and 2008 R2 in the future.
“If you continue to use the three dinosaurs, you can expect serious consequences for the security of your data or your company,” said security expert Thomas Uhlemann from ESET. “If the regular security patches are omitted, known security gaps are no longer closed.”
The Berlin city administration is one of the public institutions that have not made the switch to a modern operating system. In December, just under two thirds of the 82,000 IT workstations there had been converted to Windows 10. Experts assume that the state of Berlin will have to spend a six-figure sum on a separate support contract in order to keep the jobs that have not yet been converted running.
Windows 7 was launched on October 22, 2009 over ten years ago as the successor to the unsuccessful Windows Vista. The successor Windows 8 also came up with difficulties and did not convince many users. As a result, many companies in particular have remained loyal to Windows 7 for years.
The system’s weaknesses, which will no longer be patched free of charge in the future, could facilitate cyber attacks, ESET warned. Malware developers have already programmed malicious codes for known Windows vulnerabilities. “The switch to a modern operating system is inevitable for companies and private users,” said Uhlemann. “Cyber criminals are just waiting to exploit vulnerabilities in Windows 7 that are no longer closed. The continued high number of users promises fat prey. ”