As a business owner, you may have heard rumors that your company should be upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 “as soon as possible.” But are the rumors true?
The short answer is yes.
Love it or hate it, Windows 7, which was originally released on October 22nd of 2009, is being discontinued by Microsoft. Effectively, this means that although you will still own your rights to the Windows 7 product, Microsoft will no longer provide support for this operating system.
So … why is that such a problem?
While your Windows 7 software will indeed continue to function, unfortunately, this soon-to-be discontinued support means that Windows 7 software will simultaneously become extremely vulnerable to security risks. Most notably, feature and security updates will no longer be provided by Microsoft. And if your systems are hacked because of a weakness in the operating system? You can’t blame Microsoft, nor can you ask them for assistance; it simply won’t be available.
Why the Abrupt Change?
Actually, the change isn’t so abrupt.
Microsoft said in 2009 that they would provide 10 years of Windows 7 support. And they did. At some point, it’s understandably advantageous for both Microsoft and their clients that they upgrade to new and better software.
Ideally, you’ve been alerted to this change via some sort of communication from your managed service provider or IT staff. That’s what Keith Marchiano, VP of ICT at Baltimore IT Services firm, Kyocera Intelligence Mid-Atlantic, did when it came to Kyocera’s clients:
“We started discussing with our clients at the end of 2018 into early 2019 the end of life Microsoft put on Windows 7 … By planning with them 10-12 months in advance, they have been able to plan cash flow/revenues around these upgrades.”
Advanced updates like this are notably advantageous for businesses — yet another reason to invest in the hiring of a managed service provider or outsourced IT company. What Marchiano says about the importance of allotting funds for significant software changes — like the upgrade to Windows 10 — is true. Mike Bowe, President of On-Site Computers, agrees:
“Everything still comes down to cash flow. Companies that do not have a workstation replacement policy get caught in these traps every time. An operating system or core business application is obsolete, and they are sitting on 50% hardware replacements.”
Marcel Manning, Managing Director of Leesburg, FL computer services company, NexgenTec was also on-the-ball when it came to alerting his clients: “… We advise our clients to replace any computers they have that are 4+ years old, that [are] running Windows 7. We believe that upgrading from Windows 7 is mandatory.”
For NexgenTec, which services mostly medical practices who need to comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines, this shift is mandatory because Windows 7 will no longer provide the “technical safeguards” required by HIPAA.
But even if your business is not one related to the medical field, upgrading to Windows 10 is key.
Upgrading Your Business to Windows 10: What’s in It for You?
Many business owners are still struggling with the fact that they’ll have to allot significant time, energy, and funds to the Windows 10 upgrade. But in addition to ensuring robust security for your company, there are actually some other important advantages in store for you when you upgrade to Windows 10.
Most notably, as with most upgraded software, it’s better than its predecessors.
This goes for interface ease, speed, compatibility, security, and tools. Other benefits of Windows 10 will include:
- Faster speeds
- One-Drive On-Demand syncing
- A streamlined Start menu
- Voice typing
- Cortana (Microsoft’s digital assistant)
- A better web browser
- Screen capture capabilities
Is Your Company Ready to Make the Shift to Windows 10?
Overall, the answer is clear: Upgrade to Windows 10 or put your company at risk. Fortunately, there are other benefits for your company as well — and benefits for making the shift as soon as possible. “[You] don’t want to get caught in the deluge of other customers trying to get [the upgrade] done at the last minute,” says Adam Fadhli of Discovery IT.
Yet another reason to get started on this upgrade today.
As Marcel Manning of NexgenTec reminds us: “Computer systems and applications are constantly evolving and moving forward, and we strongly encourage our clients to keep up with those changes in order to be a more productive and efficient business.”