Time to migrate – 2019 is the last year of Windows 7 support
Posted on January 18, 2019 by Louise Howland
Support from Microsoft for Windows 7 will end in less than a year. On 14th January 2020, the extended support which is currently in place will end. If your organisation is still using Windows 7 it is important to take action and plan your migration now.
ramsac recommends that you ensure that all Windows 7 devices are retired before Christmas 2019, as failing to do risks security vulnerabilities and may provide performance risks too. So, it’s important to act now, to ensure you have a budget and a plan of action in place to replace or upgrade devices over the coming months.
Windows 10 “the last version of Windows”
A big benefit for organisations of moving to Windows 10, is that Microsoft have referred to Windows 10 as the last version of Windows, as you technically won’t need to migrate to a new Windows Operating System or buy a new licence ever again. The reason is that Windows 10 will be constantly being patched and Microsoft are releasing incremental upgrades, so the Operating System will last the full life of the device that it is installed on.
Still using Windows 7?
There are many reasons why an organisation who is still using Windows 7 should be concerned, these include
- Security Patches and bug fixes– This is probably the greatest threat to an organisation, as after the 14th January 2020 no security patches or bug fixes will be available for Windows 7, so systems will not be protected against new malware and cyberattacks, leaving an organisation vulnerable to attack.
- Performance issues – Continuing to use an outdated operating system means you run the risk of third party software you are using being updated and no longer being compatible with Windows 7 and not working as well.
- Microsoft Office 2019 – The next version of Office is due to be released in Autumn of 2018 and will only be supported on Windows 10, not 7, 8 or 8.1.
- Indirect costs – your Windows 7 users are doubtless using the software on old devices. The average user of a poorly performing PC – the type that requires a coffee to be made whilst the PC warms up in the morning, loses 14 minutes of work productivity a day – that’s 6 working days a year!
How to migrate to Windows 10
- Test applications
Windows 10 has now been in mainstream use for quite some time, so the risk of early adoption is all but expired. Nevertheless if you have specialist applications in use, especially older software systems or systems that were developed specifically for you, it’s worth making sure that they will operate in Windows 10 successfully. Upgrade a couple of key users initially and get them to fully road test the operating system first.
Taking the time to train users on new operating system is a big factor for success in how smooth the migration will be. Users will not take full advantage of all the new features in Windows 10 if they don’t know about them.
It’s important that you’ve upgraded all devices by the end of 2019 so if you work on annual budgets, we need to help you understand the budget implications sooner rather than later. It is sometimes possible to just upgrade the software on an existing machine, but given the likely age of your Windows 7 devices, it may be more cost effective to consider this as part of your PC refresh cycle. Generally speaking a business PC should be replaced every four to five years, and a laptop every three years. Much beyond this and it’s highly likely that your users are suffering poorly performing computers, which is not cost effective in the long run – you wouldn’t expect a surgeon to work with a rusty scalpel, so why would you leave your staff to operate with aged hardware?
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