Windows 7 End-of-Service-Life (EOSL) ended in 2009 for mainstream users. Despite a lack of support for their system, and because they believe it to be the most stable operating system, the hesitation to upgrade remains for many loyal Windows 7 users. Additionally, businesses using Windows 7 see upgrading their users as a daunting and time consuming task. But Windows 10, despite a bumpy start in the summer of 2015, is the new bedrock of the Windows world and Microsoft is firmly committed to it. Here’s why you should be, too.
From personal computing to corporate networks, Microsoft puts its investment in Windows 10 and no further versions will follow. Microsoft created Windows as a Service to push new features and updates upon development and testing. From minor tweaks to major upgrades, Windows 10 is the foundation Microsoft will build on.
To that end, no regular security updates to Windows 7 have occurred since 2020. This means that as every month goes by, any existing Windows 7 machine remains vulnerable to security risks. Your business is increasingly at risk as well. Ransomware or other malware take advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities and are a significant target for hackers looking to make a living on unsecured networks. Upgrading to Windows 10 ensures you’ll have the latest fixes for years to come. Staying on Windows 7 means you won’t.
ADVANTAGES OF WINDOWS 10
Aesthetics were among the biggest complaints of Windows 10. Everything about the system seemed too different. The Start Menu, Taskbar effects, and even the Control Panel took some getting used to. Addressing complaints, Microsoft changed their approach and was proactive in features reversal. Users eventually became more familiar with the new look and discovered Windows 10 runs much faster than any of its predecessors. From the ground up, everything about the Windows 10 operating system was redesigned. Now, twice-a-year major feature upgrades keep users up-to-date. Incremental monthly updates mostly feature security updates and bug fixes—all necessary to keep Windows 10 stable and secure. Regular security updates are generally annoying but can be alleviated with a good remote monitoring and management solution.
Software compatibility is a major factor in upgrading to Windows 10. Because Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7 over a decade ago, 3rd party software developers moved on and do not support features that are unique to Windows 7. Windows 10 compatible upgrades will eventually stop working on Windows 7. This puts business owners in a position to decide whether to upgrade or stay with insecure, legacy systems that will eventually hurt their business or competitiveness within their industry.
Windows 10 is built for touch screens, which is a unique approach in the operating system market. Sure, we can still click and drag with a mouse, but using Windows 10 on a tablet or stationary touch screen is much easier, thanks to Tablet Mode. Although touch typically is not our primary computing method, Microsoft knows their purpose. They know that touch devices, like tablets will become even more prevalent, which is why they designed Windows 10 to be symbiotic between the traditional keyboard, mouse user, and the touchscreen. They are forever determined to make the experience as similar as possible on both platforms.
When deploying Windows 10 in a business setting, it’s essential to plan the upgrade. Depending on how old your PC hardware is, upgrading in place without replacing the hardware is very realistic. You don’t necessarily have to do a wholesale replacement of everything. In our experience, ancient hardware needs to be replaced, but that is the case for any major upgrade.
Our mantra for this type of project is test, test, test! Upgrade a few machines and do a pilot launch. Make sure everything works as intended: hardware and software, before you upgrade the whole organization.
Keep your staff involved in the upgrade process every step of the way. Sharing upcoming changes prepares them for how they will be affected. Most importantly, be sure to provide support after the upgrade. Make sure efficiency doesn’t drop drastically while your team adjusts to the changes. This is where a solid help desk and remote monitoring and management solutions come into play.
It’s been years since Microsoft said we needed to upgrade to 10 and a year since they stopped providing critical security updates and working drivers. Without a sound policy to keep Windows 7, the risks are now outweighing the benefits and costs of upgrading. It’s time to make the change.
We’re here to help. Consul-vation is your full-service IT resource, and we would be happy to discuss the details of your environment to help you plan the best deployment and ongoing support strategy for upgrading your office to Windows 10 and any other technology needs you have.