Microsoft has announced that Windows 7 will not be supported after the 14th January 2020. Yet according to a survey by firm Kollective and reported by ITProPortal as of August last year, 43% of UK and US decision makers said their organisations are still running Windows 71. Furthermore, businesses tended to take an average of three to five years to migrate from Windows XP to 7 meaning that if history repeats itself, those starting to migrate from Windows 7 to 10 even now, will not complete before support for the old operating system comes to an end.
How will this affect my business?
If your business is still using Windows 7 it will not stop working after 14th January 2020, but Microsoft will not be providing updates such as fixes to new bugs and security updates. Updates for Internet Explorer on Windows 7 devices will also cease. The biggest risk to businesses that continue to use Windows 7 when it becomes unsupported is the operating system’s vulnerability to cyberattacks. Furthermore, the lack of bug fixes will mean increased glitches for users and incompatibility issues with new software installations. Cybersecurity is a major threat to most SMEs which are often unprepared for an attack. That’s why LBT is offering a free initial cybersecurity consultation to help businesses prepare – please click here for details.
According to Microsoft’s own website, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise users can purchase extended security updates until January 2023. Those on more recent operating systems will be unaffected by the changes to Windows 7 support.
Practical steps for Windows 7 users
The first step is to identify which computers in your organisation are running Windows 7 and work out how you will go about replacing the old operating system plus any software running alongside it with newer versions or alternative technologies, whilst causing minimal disruption to the day to day running of your business. This may mean phasing out the old system gradually or planning a move to a new operating system around busy times of the year factoring in downtime and re-training of staff. LBT can help you to plan what needs to be done and provide accurate costings for your budget over the coming year, avoiding surprise expenses at the last moment when switching for many businesses becomes more or less essential.
Upgrading to Windows 10
Most Windows 7 users will benefit from a move to the latest Microsoft operating system, Windows 10. Some users were initially frustrated by Microsoft’s big push to get Windows 7 users to upgrade straight away – Windows 7 PCs would frequently suggest an upgrade to pre-installed Windows 10, and thus encouraging them to part from familiarity at potentially inconvenient times. However, Windows 10 is a big improvement from Windows 7 and also the much-criticised Windows 8, in terms of layout and usability especially with the return of the start menu. It’s also a faster operating system, especially if the benefits are realised fully when using it with a modern PC, hence upgrading old PC hardware running Windows 7 at the same time as the operating system can be an advantage. Other useful features of Windows 10 include an improved secure boot feature inherited from Windows 8, slick productivity and media apps plus access to universal apps via a store unavailable in Windows 7, the new Microsoft Edge browser and Cortana for voice activation.
To ensure your business takes full advantage of the latest operating systems and, most importantly, stays protected against cybersecurity and data breaches, book a free consultation with LBT today here or call 01763 275 400.