Windows 7 went End of Life on 14th January. If you haven’t already heard, then where have you been?
First released in 2009, this once ground-breaking operating system (OS) is now unsupported, which means your users will no longer receive updates with new functionality, bug fixes or most important of all; security updates. Having been the backbone of many businesses across the globe for the best part of a decade, we’re sad to see Windows 7 come to an end. However, change also presents opportunity, and that comes in the form of Microsoft’s latest OS, Windows 10.
Having now claimed the title of world’s most popular OS, Windows 10 is the future, and if you still need to upgrade then there’s no better time to do so. Here’s why. . .
For those still using Windows 7, one of the major concerns related to continuing with an unsupported OS is the lack of security updates. Without these updates, your users will no longer be protected against the latest cybersecurity threats, something that not only puts each device at risk, but also the data and applications held on your entire network. As Windows 10 is still supported, it’s already at an obvious advantage, so by upgrading you’ll ensure the ongoing security of your users, their devices and the data they hold.
But that’s not where the focus on security ends. Windows 10 is designed with security in mind and comes with a range of in-built features, including Antivirus and Windows Firewall, which build on well-known measures already found in Windows Defender to ensure your users enjoy the highest levels of cybersecurity protection.
There’s also secure sign-in with Windows Hello, where users can use fingerprint and facial recognition in place of traditional passwords, making for convenient and more secure biometric access.
Unlike previous iterations of its operating systems, Microsoft has turned away from its previous model of issuing a brand new OS every few years, and instead Windows 10 will be the last major OS they release. The strategy has now shifted towards smaller, more regular updates for Windows 10 users, ensuring that they will always be able to enjoy the latest functionality as soon as it is released, without the need to overhaul the entire OS to the latest version. With each and every Windows 10 update Microsoft issues, they are enabling businesses to modernise and work more flexibly and more collaboratively.
Last year it was reported that 214 million users were using the Office 365 cloud-based solution, but those still using Windows 7 are only able to realise a fraction of its potential. That’s because Windows 7 isn’t compatible with Office 19, meaning you are unable to install the latest versions and take advantage of the latest features and applications including the Microsoft Teams business collaboration platform.
Windows 10, however, has no such concerns. It’s fully compatible with the latest version of Office and is designed to help users get the most out of Office 365.
As well as compatibility, ensuring ongoing compliance is a major consideration for many businesses. Sticking with Windows 7 puts your business at risk of non-compliance with legal regulations such as GDPR. In addition, any of those companies processing card payments are now breaching the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. If you still haven’t upgraded your OS, then you’re exposing your business to a legal minefield, so by moving to Windows 10 you can avoid any legal negligence.
As we’ve already alluded to, Windows 10 is designed to get the most out of everything the latest versions of Office have to offer, which means it comes pre-loaded and with a range of exciting functionality.
• Enhanced touch screen capabilities, making it easier to scroll, annotate and edit files by hand.
• Microsoft Continuum which chooses the best view mode for users with 2-in-1 devices to optimise their experience.
• An improved Edge web browser, the replacement for Internet Explorer, that’s user friendly and power efficient.
• Cortana digital assistant, which makes it easier to search the internet, locate applications and take notes.
It’s all too easy to see migration as a burden, but in reality it’s an opportunity to secure your business for the long term, add new value, and improve your users’ efficiency. So, if you’re still running on Windows 7, what are your options?
You can of course simply install Windows 10 on your existing devices. Windows 10 has a reduced installation footprint, and takes up less storage space as a result, freeing up additional capacity of your devices.
However, by adding Windows 10 to legacy Windows 7 hardware, you will miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of all the features the latest OS brings to the table. There’s a whole host of new devices built with Windows 10 in mind, and we can help identify the right options to suit both your users and your budget.
Whichever upgrade path you choose to take, we can help you every step of the way. Talk to us and dive deeper into your options.