The New England firm Advanced Kiosks – which makes and sells guess what – has pushed out an interesting email blast reminding end-users out in the world that if they have devices on kiosks that are running Windows 7, they are about to be using an unsupported, dead product.
Says the company: You may not realize it, but if you have an older kiosk, its computer is likely using the Windows 7 operating system. Microsoft recently announced the Windows 7 “end-of-life.” End-of-life is the date after which Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7.
After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide updates or technical support for the Windows 7 operating system. This means:
- No security updates
- No technical support
- No software updates
Older kiosks running Windows 7 will therefore be at risk of security breaches, viruses and malware. Knowing this important information can help you make an informed decision about when to update or replace your kiosk software.
The email is, in part, to goose existing or potential customers into a Windows 10 refresh, but the broader story is that anyone running on Windows 7, still, could have a problem after next week.
I’m not sure what percentage of the installed kiosk or signage base out there is on Windows of any kind, but even if it was now just 10%, that would mean many, many 1000s of devices. NetMarketShare suggests the number is almost 27%, but that’s across all devices, including laptops.
Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 five years ago, but extended support won’t end until January 14, 2020.
So if this is news, and you are in mad-scramble mode to refresh things like menu board or ad displays, you had five years. That said, it’s not like the device will stop working on the 14th. But if/when it does, don’t look to Redmond, WA for help.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.