Free support for Microsoft Windows 7 ends

Free support for Microsoft Windows 7 ends

January 21, 2020

As announced previously, Microsoft has now ended its free support, including security updates, for the Windows 7 operating system. This could put some systems at higher risk from viruses and other running problems.

Community pharmacy contractors are recommended, with their IT/PMR support, to plan moving away from Windows 7, if that has not already been considered.

The NHS Digital Warranted Environment Specification (WES) document sets out technical standards for those systems which make use of NHS Spine and Smartcard services and outlines when free support of different versions of Microsoft Windows is due to end. The WES recommends ensuring systems are supported.

If a non-supported system is used for a period of time, there are some precautionary measures, explored within the briefing linked below, which you and your IT/PMR support may take to protect your systems e.g. from being impacted by a virus. For those pharmacy contractors upgrading computer hardware – it is right to check that a new version of Windows is included on that new terminal.

PSNC with Community Pharmacy IT Group (CP ITG) previously prepared a briefing on the topic primarily suitable for those supporting pharmacy IT such as pharmacy system suppliers or IT helpdesks: CP ITG briefing: Preparing for Windows 7 and Windows 10 transition.

The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (‘Toolkit’) includes a question about usage and mitigations associated with use of ‘unsupported software’. Read more at PSNC’s new Toolkit (2019/20) completion guidance.


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