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Windows 7 reaches End of Life phase23 October 2019

Any business running a Windows 7 computer will be exposed to a higher level of risk from the start of 2020. Support for the Microsoft operating system ceases on 14 January 2020. The current programme of free technical and security updates and fixes will cease entirely.

From that date, Windows 7 computers will become a more significant security risk, as it’s likely they will be increasingly targeted by cybercriminals.

It’s estimated that around 8 out of 10 UK businesses still have at least one Windows 7 computer attached to their network. Earlier this year it was revealed that over three quarters of the NHS computers, around one million of them, run on Windows 7.

If your organisation is one of those still running Windows 7 on any computer, it’s time to give serious thought to how to move on.

 

How to upgrade from Windows 7

Microsoft recommends that Windows 7 is upgraded to the latest version of its operating system, Windows 10.

As a first step, you should undertake an audit of all your devices, to ensure all those running Windows 7 have been identified,
along with all the apps that rely on that operating system. The recommended next steps are:
• Develop an upgrade implementation plan for the relevant computers and apps.
• Make a full backup, in case something should fail during the process.
• Upgrade, ideally with enough time in hand to be ready in advance of the 14 January 2020 deadline.

Upgrading is not mandatory. While official support ceases on 14 January 2020, Windows 7 will continue to function. Ongoing support will be available, for a fee, from both Microsoft and third-party providers.

 

Potential issues with upgrading from Windows 7

It’s important to plan ahead for your move from Windows 7, as you may encounter a number of challenges.

It’s likely that computers still running Windows 7 are older devices. These may not be capable of supporting Windows 10 or upgraded versions of other apps that you use. As a result, hardware upgrades may be needed.

Moving to Windows 10 could bring integration issues with other apps you use. As part of the upgrade planning process, it’s important to ensure data can continue to flow smoothly between apps and devices.
It’s likely that some of your team will require training in how to use aspects of Windows 10, both users and your technical staff.

 

How we can help you upgrade from Windows 7

There may be more to your upgrade from Windows 7 than you anticipate. The reliability of the operating system means it is still widely used, supporting apps and processes that have run smoothly for years. Disrupting these with an upgrade could have unexpected consequences.

Our clients benefit from our extensive experience of upgrade planning and delivery, which minimises both disruption and cost.

Find out more about how we can help your business upgrade from Windows 7 by calling us on 03450 510600 or emailing enquiries@itsupport365.co.uk. We would be pleased to have
a no-obligation conversation with you.

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Leaving Windows 7 running in your organisation means you’re taking a risk. Planning an upgrade now will help you to minimise that risk and could allow you to take advantage of the latest features that come with Windows 10.