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A third of NHS computers still run Windows 7

(Image credit: Image Credit: Marbury / Shutterstock)

The NHS (opens in new tab) has missed its own target of migrating all PCs to Windows 10 by the end of January this year, fresh government figures show.

Out of 1.37 million devices used by the National Health Service, almost half a million of them (463,784) are still running Windows 7, an operating system no longer supported by its developer.

The NHS is putting itself at unnecessary risk, because new vulnerabilities in the operating system will not be addressed by Microsoft. It may also mean additional cost.

Last April, the UK's Department of Health and Social Care signed a deal with Microsoft allowing the NHS to migrate to Windows 10 for free under one condition – that it migrates before the end of January 2020.  

Besides the 400,000+ devices on Windows 7, there are also a further 318,000 machines running other versions of Microsoft's OS, according to ZDNet (opens in new tab).

"There is support from Microsoft for devices using Windows 7, in all NHS (opens in new tab) organisations, until 14 January 2021. Migration to Windows 10 is a process which will differ depending on the specific needs of the organisation. We are working closely with the NHS to offer support to migrate to Windows 10 and are on target to complete this before the extended support period ends," said NHS Digital.

It is possible for organisations to receive extra support for Windows 7, but they are required to pay for every future patch or bug fix.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.