Since its emergence in 2009, Windows 7 has proven to be a hugely popular operating system for businesses and individuals alike.
The successor to the often much-maligned Windows Vista, Window 7’s functionality and simple usability was an instant hit for many, quickly winning the system plenty of plaudits… and lots of loyal users in the process.
However, nothing can last forever in the world of technology. In this innovative and fast-paced digital age, standing still is the same as falling behind – especially as almost every task we fulfil in a business environment is reliant on technology.
As a result, it’s no surprise that Microsoft are phasing out Windows 7 to enable the concentration of newer technologies, ideas and user experiences. The announcement by Microsoft that it will stop supporting the system from early 2020 – January 14th to be precise – will be extremely significant for the many businesses, and individuals, which still use it.
How do I know if I am on Windows 7 or Windows 10?
Alongside the technical improvements Windows 10 provides, there is a visual difference in the new operating system’s look and feel.
You will notice when viewing the Windows logo, it has been revamped to a mono window in comparison to the colourful flag used for Windows 7. The reasoning behind Microsoft’s new logo design was to adapt to the current evolution of the computer industry.
So, if you and/or your business are currently using Windows 7, what actions should you be considering or taking ahead of January 14th?
1. Consider upgrade to Windows 10
As one door shuts, another one opens. Microsoft would not put such a popular and commercially successful operating system as Windows 7 out to pasture if it wasn’t able to offer a newer, more secure and better solution.
For one, users of Windows 10 are likely to notice an improvement in operating speed. It’s never easy to make a switch having enjoyed a tried-and-tested system for years but the enhanced technology, inbuilt protection and reassurance it provides makes Windows 10 a worthy successor to its predecessor.
And because a Windows 10 license can be purchased to upgrade the operating system of a device, it’s an ideal solution for users with fairly new devices that have been purchased in the last 2 or 3 years.
Something to remember: ensure the upgrade is to Windows 10 PROFESSIONAL– don’t get lured into upgrading to Windows 10 Home. Why? The clue is in the title – it isn’t operatively and securely designed for a corporate environment.
2. Technology refresh
What if your device is older than three years? Is the purchase of a Windows 10 upgrade license for this device worth it? Not if you’re going to need to replace that device a few months down the line it won’t be.
Even if you do decide to stick with Windows 7 for the short-term, any available updates and upgrades are chargeable, while any websites claiming free upgrades are not safe to use and we don’t recommend using them. Another key reason why you really ought to consider upgrading rather than holding on to outdated software.
Instead, take this opportunity to consider a technology refresh — new hardware to go alongside the new operating system. This won’t just serve you better in the long run, it will also carry significant weight with your staff; boosting employee engagement by giving them the tools to work more productively and effectively.
3. Be wary of cyber threats
There is nothing to stop individuals and businesses using Windows 7 once the January 14th date elapses – at least in the short or mid-term. However, it is extremely important to understand that, as this system will no longer be supported by Microsoft, the likelihood of bugs, glitches and potentially damaging cyber-attacks increase significantly. If you have no immediate plans to move away from Windows 7 after January 14th it is imperative that added risks are assessed and action is taken to mitigate the increased dangers.
Technology is constantly evolving and it is important that businesses are up with the curb and maximising what is available to them.
To discuss how the upcoming Microsoft changes may affect your business, and to discuss how you can take full advantage of information technology, contact the friendly, experienced team at RDS Global today for a free consultation.