Windows 7 End of “Life Support”
With the skyrocketing advancements in technology, it’s time we bid goodbye to old but robust and reliable means we once used. And that is very necessary for technological evolution to prosper. Such was the premise when Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 on 14th January 2020 (after 10 long years!)
What It Essentially Means
Basically, after 14th January 2020, you can continue to use Windows 7 on your PC but the essential IT support services cannot be availed anymore. Microsoft will not offer
- Technical support
- Security updates
- Software updates
While you can still run Windows 7 on your PC, the experience will not be seamless. Due to the lack of security updates and fixes, your PC will have a higher probability of being “infected” by viruses.
Problems To Be Faced by Medical Practitioners
For doctors and medical practitioners of all fields, a hassle-free, smooth and secure IT support services is paramount to keep the well-oiled medical machine churning. Neither performance nor security can be compromised. But upgrading from Windows 7 is no easy task.
- All servers, computers, printers must be updated.
- The latest, compatible versions of the software must be bought.
All of this creates disturbances that automatically reflects on the productivity of the workplace.
For practitioners in the USA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule calls for updated patches on all systems. Microsoft will terminated this for Windows 7 post 14th January 2020 unless you have chosen to pay for Extended Security Updates(ESU). Failure to adhere to the aforementioned points will lead your practice to be non HIPAA compliant.
What Dental Practitioners Can Do To Ensure Seamless Practice
- Have a basic understanding of the Operating System that is being used for all intents and purposes of the practice.
- Know the importance of the Operating System towards the existing Dental Practice Management Software. Consider all possibilities and research various options that would work best on the upgraded Operating System.
- Plan the upgrade properly before actually implementing it. All such planning should be done avoiding rush hours to ensure productivity.
- Plan the budget. A large fortune goes into upgrading the hardware to be compatible with the latest dental practice software. A planned budget will ensure no loose ends.
- A miracle of technology is cloud computing services. This helps you streamline the workflow. All the server-side software and databases are deployed to the cloud so that it can host and run them for you. You will not have to go through the hassle of upgrading to the latest technology every time companies decide to terminate support for their services and end the life cycle of their product. The cloud will give you access to all the latest technology in one comprehensive manner! Cloud services like Amazon Web Services(AWS) and Microsoft Azure are excellent choices among others.
Lastly, Windows 10 offers compatibility mode for applications and programs that were designed for earlier versions for Windows. Here, you can change settings for the program and run it on
- Compatibility mode
- Reduced color mode
- Reduced resolution (for programs that don’t render properly visually)
- Change Dots Per Inch (DPI) settings
A comprehensive list of the above can be found here.
Using compatibility mode for medical practices is however not recommended. The programs and applications being used are older iterations. As mentioned earlier, this poses an array of IT support services problems and security issues.