ADVICE Microsoft has killed Windows 7 – Now is the time to move to Windows 10

With the Windows 7 end-of-support clock slowly winding down to January 14, 2020 businesses that still have a large Windows 7 estate are starting to get nervous about how much it will cost to mitigate the risks of a breach occurring because of un-patched windows 7 devices.

End of life What are the options?

There are three viable options for safeguarding your IT infrastructure before the January 2020 deadline.

  1. Swap out Windows 7 workstations for Windows 10
  2. Upgrade Windows 7 workstations to Windows 10
  3. Pay Microsoft a fee per machine to keep patches going for Windows 7

Option 3 is only available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise workstations with volume-licensing agreements, and those with Windows Software Assurance subscriptions will be able to purchase at a discount. Most SMEs we deal with do not go for these licensing models.

What happens if you don’t replace or upgrade your Windows 7 machines? Well it is a well-known fact the majority of exploits are against unpatched computers, as much as 9 out of 10, the WannaCry ransomware is a perfect example of the havoc unpatched computers can cause.

So, if you upgrade or replace your Windows 7 machines there is a monetary cost, if you don’t and then contract malware/are hacked then the cost in business reputation, downtime, GDPR fines, re-instatement costs or fraudulent transactions could be substantially higher than if you just replaced or upgraded your equipment.

As an IT support company, we will always recommend you keep yourself as safe as possible and move to Windows 10 by replacing or upgrading your workstations. Other than protecting you from the dangers of having an unsupported unpatched workstation upgrading to Windows 10 will give you some real benefits.

Speed

Start-up and more. Some Windows 7 workstations can take 5 minutes + from power up to logging in and seeing your desktop. Fast Boot in Windows 10 gets you logged on in seconds instead of minutes. Windows 10 also has a host of performance improvements and is more efficient meaning laptop batteries last longer. If you are replacing your workstations you will also have the added advantage of newer, quicker hardware such as SSD, NEW CPU and faster larger RAM. If you look at our four S blog, we outline why speed is so important to business productivity.

Speed

Security

Some of the best security features in Windows 10 only come into play if you have specific 365 subscriptions such as EMS, however some out the box features which improve security over Windows 7 Pro are Windows 10 Secure Boot, improved Windows patching, Windows Hello and bitlocker encryption. Again, we outline why security is so important for business productivity in our four S blog.


Familiarity

The general consensus for why Windows 7 is still so popular is because of the original Windows 8 removing the start menu. Microsoft have learned from this and in Windows 10 the start menu is even better than before. The tiles from Windows 8 aren’t gone they have been integrated into the start menus sidebar and they can be app shortcuts or live tiles that update with real-time information. Therefor you get the best of both worlds. A start menu similar to Windows 7 with a list of programs but that integrates the best parts of Windows 8 tiles will reduce IT support calls.


Familiarity

Features

Saving the best for last, this could be its own blog but we will touch on some of the new features you will benefit from. Cortana, you can use Cortana to perform searches for files or internet queries or set reminders and perform other commands such as sending emails and getting directions. Basically, Siri but for Windows.

Task view, we all multi task and this makes it so much easier. Task view allows you to group task into virtual desktops, for example one could be finance apps and tabs, another social accounts and another general business allowing you to segregate your work and not get bogged down with multiple tabs and apps open at the same time. It is like having multiple PCs that you can switch between.

Windows snapping, originally released with Windows 7, allows you to quickly snap different apps to different sides of the screen so you can view two apps at the same time. Windows 10 improves on this by allowing you to snap into the corners and auto filling any unused space so you can get full use of your screen or screens.

Tablet or desktop mode, Windows 10 lets you make full use of touch devices by allowing you to choose the experience depending on which device you are using.

Different people value different features but above are some of the best in our view.

Conclusion

No one likes to be forced to spend money on their IT infrastructure but hopefully we have outlined the reasons why this particular spend is justified from a business perspective and some of the benefits you will enjoy after you upgrade or replace your Windows 7 estate.

Is it worth 5 minutes of your time?

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This form collects your name and phone number so that we can contact you. Check out our Privacy Policy for the full story on how we store, process and protect your submitted data. If you choose not to consent, please use an alternative contact method shown on our Contact page.