The New Year and new decade started with support for Microsoft Windows 7 ending. Yes, Microsoft’s support for their operating system (OS) that was launched in 2009 stopped on Tuesday 14th January 2020.
Most small and medium-sized business in London probably don’t give the OS driving their computers and laptops much thought but this change matters.
Why? There are three reasons:
*according to statistics website StatCounter, one in four Microsoft Windows users is still running Windows 7 and that number will include many businesses
*cyber security experts are concerned that those Windows 7 users will no longer receive the all-important updates and patches from Microsoft to keep their machines, network and confidential data and customer information safe, plus…
*this is the perfect opportunity to upgrade your operating system to Windows 10 and reap the business benefits Microsoft’s latest OS delivers.
What should you do about support for Microsoft Windows 7 ending?
If you’re worried about Microsoft support for Windows 7 ending, help is here, so please keep reading.
We’ve put together this article to tell you why Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7, why you should take this opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 and explain the many operational benefits of doing so. Below you’ll discover:
- What is an operating system and what does it do?
- Why you must put safety and security first
- Why even the UK government is concerned
- What should you do with your Windows 7 PCs?
- Why it’s time to upgrde your IT, not just your operating system
What is an operating system and what does it do?
An operating system – in this case Widows 7 – is the primary software that manages all the hardware and software on your computers. It’s the way your computers and other devices communicate with each other and the applications your business relies on.
All your technology, from keyboards, mice and storage devices to displays, printers, memory and security rely on your operating system.
Trouble is, as your devices age so does your operating system. And eventually, as in the case of Windows 7 – which was launched in 2009 – the software vendor stops supporting it.
Why you must put safety and security first
Software vendors like Microsoft fight a war of attrition with hackers trying to exploit software bugs in their operating systems.
Traditionally, Microsoft will fix (with security patches) the software loopholes that would otherwise let the cybercriminals in. But as the company is no longer supporting Windows 7, that’s no longer going to happen.
So if you’re running machines with Windows 7 they will be more vulnerable to being infected with viruses and malware. These can invade, infect, damage and disable your computers and, therefore, your business.
Cyber criminals can also steal personal and financial data, spy on other users or lock up your systems until a ransom is paid.
Why even the UK government is concerned
This situation is considered so serious – especially for small and medium-sized businesses – that the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ, warned Windows 7 users not to undertake Internet banking or send emails after Microsoft Windows 7 supported ended on Tuesday 14th January.
An NCSC spokesperson said, ‘We would urge those using the software (ie Windows 7) after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts. They should also consider sending e-mails from a different, supported device.’
So if you’re still running Windows 7 you’re putting your IT infrastructure, devices, network, confidential data and customer information – even your hard-earned reputation – at risk.
What should you do with your Windows 7 PCs?
The computers you’re using running Windows 7 will continue to function after Tuesday 14th January but they will become less and less secure because Microsoft will no longer supply you with security updates or fixes.
Not surprisingly, Microsoft is urging users to move to Windows 10, their newest and latest operating system. It was launched in 2015 and has been continuously upgraded and improved since.
Now, it is possible to install Windows 10 on old PCs but industry experts warn that the upgrade isn’t easy and your systems may not run smoothly afterwards. To run Windows 10 your PCs must have a 1GHz processor, 16GB of hard drive space and 1GB of RAM memory.
Sure, it’s tempting to cut costs by continuing to use your old machines for as long as possible but this doesn’t make commercial or financial sense in the long-term. For example, the cost of licensing and manpower required to upgrade to Windows 10 could run to hundreds of pounds on each of your existing machines. So why not put that money towards a new device that already has Windows 10 installed and is likely to last for some years to come?
The business benefits of upgrading to Windows 10
The latest version of Windows 10 provides enhanced, built-in security to keep your business safe, including firewall and internet protections to help safeguard against viruses, malware and ransomware. But that’s not all, Windows 10 provides a host of other business benefits besides, such as:
Enjoy consistent operations right across the office
Upgrade everyone to Windows 10 now and each member of your team will be using the same operating system. That makes it easier for users to switch machines, share documents and work collaboratively, which will boost your efficiency, flexibility and productivity.
Easier and faster to train staff
Keeping up-to-date with the latest OS means it’s easier and faster for staff to move to new versions as they’re released, so you’ll spend less time and money bringing people up to speed.
It’s good for your business, brand and people
Using the latest operating system sends out a positive message to your existing staff, new recruits and customers that you’re a forward-thinking organisation and ready to invest in the best resources.
Quicker, simpler resolution of issues
Should things go awry, you and your IT services provider will be able to resolve them more quickly, which will keep downtime and staff frustration to a minimum.
More productive, more quickly
In this ‘on demand’ world, people expect their IT to be instantly ready for work. Microsoft says that Windows 10 computers start-up on average 28% faster than older computers, so your people can get to work more quickly.
Versatile and flexible
Microsoft Windows 10 comes with a range of useful apps built-in to meet your unique business needs and help your teams work more efficiently.
What’s more, Windows 10 runs perfectly across a wide range of devices to suit the way you and your people want to work, from ultra-thin laptops for productivity on the go, to 2-in-1s for sleek presentations or desktop PCs for traditional office settings.
Save time, save effort
Windows 10 packs in many time and task saving features too, so you and your team can work fast and efficiently at all times. These include touch screens, digital pens, facial recognition and even the facility to enable users to pause notifications, alerts and sounds so they can focus on the task at hand without being interrupted.
Extra power and performance for business
There’s also Windows 10 Pro available with enterprise-grade security and enhanced features to help your business do more.
Why it’s time to upgrade your IT, not just your operating system
We recommend upgrading your hardware along with your software. That way you’ll be getting all the benefits of Windows 10 plus the additional advantages of using the latest technology in the most cost-effective, safe and secure way.
And if you’re still using Windows 7 (which is over 10 years old now), chances are you’ve not reviewed your IT, its uses and your requirements for some time.
That means your business has evolved and grown but your IT hasn’t kept pace – which can only hold back your future development.
For example, most of us can now work from anywhere we can access WiFi in London, so it may be that your business and your team would benefit from the flexibility of using laptops and other mobile devices as opposed to traditional PCs.
Talk to the trusted IT support provider for London
If you’re looking to upgrade your operating system from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and considering modernising your hardware at the same time, please call us for a free, confidential and no obligation discussion about your needs.
With Five Star customer service ratings for our managed IT services delivery in London, from such renowned names as TrustPilot, Feefo and Google, we guarantee to take the worry, stress and inconvenience out of the whole upgrading process for you.
We’ll start by getting an in-depth overview of your business and it’s operations now and in the future. We’ll plan for a wide range of contingencies from backing up all your data so none is lost to minimising business interruption and devising ‘work arounds’ for any bespoke applications or equipment you have that run on Windows 7.
As an accredited and London-based Microsoft Partner, you can be confident our highly experienced and expert team will deliver best-practice support, installation and commissioning of Windows 10 and your new technology, all to the agreed budget and deadline.
Trust us to ensure your business, operations, technology and confidential data are secure, up-to-date and working efficiently and cost effectively – now and in the future.