Microsoft has announced that it will discontinue support for its Windows 7 operating system on 14 January 2020. This means that after this date, patches and security updates will no longer be issued. You’ll still be able to use the Windows 7 operating system, but it is not something we would advise as the cyber risks of doing so will increase dramatically.
If this news affects you, you are not alone. Some reports suggest that as many as 39% of PCs still run Windows 7. With the potential for so many vulnerable machines to be active next year, it could be seen as low hanging fruit for hackers, who’ll set out to actively target the security flaws in these older unsupported systems.
Having seen cyberattacks like WannaCry exploit vulnerabilities in unpatched older software, we really do advise you to get your business on to Windows 10 now. So let’s take a look at what your options are for doing so.
How can I upgrade my business from Windows 7 to Windows 10?
The good news is that there are a number of different options available to you as an organisation for upgrading from Windows 7.
Switching to Windows 7 on your current machines
You may be able to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 on your existing PCs. You’d do this by purchasing Windows 10 software licences for each machine. Whilst this may seem like the lowest cost option, we would suggest you treat this approach with caution. Windows 7 came out a decade ago, so by definition Windows 7 PCs are pretty ancient in computer years. They will not be optimised for Windows 10 and may not even be able to handle the more powerful operating system at all.
First, you’ll need to check the specification of your PCs to ensure they meet minimum requirements for Windows 10. If they do, you’ll want an idea of how satisfactorily they will handle the software. It could easily turn into a false economy if your computers are permanently on a go-slow.
Buying new Windows 10 PCs
If you have got the cash and prefer capital expenditure, biting the bullet and buying new PCs with Windows 10 pre-installed will often be the best way forward. This way, you’ll know the machines are optimised for Windows 10 and all it can deliver. Don’t forget, Windows 10 is a significant improvement on Windows 7, so you’ll be seeing extra benefit. This will be a longer-term solution than merely upgrading the software on old machines.
Financing new Windows 10 PCs
If you don’t have the immediate financial resources, or prefer operational expenditure, then using finance to get your new Windows 10 PCs will solve the problem too. You’ll still have new fit-for-purpose kit, but can spread the cost over a monthly contract.
Azure virtual desktop
An interesting new way of solving your Windows 7 end of life problem is the soon-to-be-launched Azure virtual desktop. This is a cloud solution that will shift your computer processing up into the cloud so there’s no need to have an old machine sitting on your desk. You’ll have access to all the processing power you need and latest software remotely.
Talk to us about upgrading Windows 7 before its support ends
Events like Microsoft’s end of support for Windows 7 really show the benefit of taking a strategic approach to IT. It means you can plan for these game-changing moments and not face significant unexpected bills.
If you are affected by this news, we can talk you through all your options and find a way forward that suits your organisation, including financing. And if you would like to see how we can help you at an ongoing strategic level, we can talk about that too. Call us on 01454 534 009