Even the holdouts need to adapt eventually, and the time has come for companies to move on. After all, official Microsoft support for Windows 7 will end at the beginning of 2020, and upgrading to Windows 10 is relatively simple with the free upgrade path provided through Microsoft 365.
The Windows 10 Upgrade: Essential for Security
Released in summer 2015, Windows 10 quickly proved itself as a solid operating system and a viable replacement for the much-loved Windows 7 — yet at the end of summer 2019, the latter remains in heavy use with a market share hovering around the 30%. It’s easy to understand why, admittedly: change is often inconvenient, so why not stick with what works?
Here’s why you should be recommending this action to your clients:
Outdated software is hugely unreliable
With Windows 7 at the end of its official operational lifespan, the lack of security updates will soon start to damage its suitability as a secure business operating system. As it becomes more susceptible to attack from viruses and malware, it will generate more problems, and there’s a strong chance you'll need outside help for assistance. In addition, compatibility is already a significant issue. Many new hardware devices (and plenty of recent business-level software suites) were designed to work with Windows 10, with any support for older versions being the result of generic design, not the intention. Consequently, there’s very rarely any guarantee that an older version will be suitable for a business task — and when it isn’t, it can cause headaches for everyone involved.
The security benefits of Windows 10
Aside from having a newer design and ongoing updates, Windows 10 has other security advantages over previous Windows versions. These include the following:
Windows Hello. Keeping devices locked when not in use is essential for internal security, but plenty of companies struggle with the balance between protection and convenience. Windows Hello uses bio-metrics to make things simple. Users register their faces, irises, and/or fingerprints, and that data is encrypted and used to restrict access. Logging in is often as easy as swiping a finger or simply looking into the camera.
Device Guard. Security vulnerabilities are patched in time, but it’s better to proactively prevent threats whenever possible, and that’s where the updated Device Guard is hugely powerful. Siloed from everything else, it can be set to block any software that hasn’t been digitally signed by a trusted provider. This effectively stops malicious code.
Secure Boot. The Secure Boot feature obscures the classic boot-up methods (e.g. entering Safe Mode or choosing the boot device), and its Windows 10 iteration can be forcefully enabled by admins or even PC manufacturers. Most businesses don’t need to change boot settings, and Secure Boot keeps systems protected from rootkits.
There are various other improvements, but these three things in particular we think make Windows 10 a huge step up from any previous version of Windows — and it’s even more potent when combined with the rich security features of Microsoft 365. The more smoothly and securely your clients’ systems run, the happier they’ll be.
The easy upgrade process
The Windows 10 upgrade path is far smoother than any that came before it. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 installations can be updated with ease, and when any new computers are required, Windows AutoPilot can get them completely ready for deployment before they even reach the users — all they need to do is log in and start working.
Considering how much time has typically gone into the Windows installation process, and how businesses have needed to spend huge amounts of time getting new PCs registered and connected to the appropriate systems, this is a massive shift in efficiency.
We would advise that moving to Windows 10 is the logical choice. It’s secure, fast, economical, and easy to implement through the Microsoft 365 deployment path.
What About Other Legacy Software?
A particular problem we run into with customers is that of legacy software traditionally running on Windows 7 and not being able to port over to Windows 10. This can, in the short term, be solved using hyper v or dual boot up to get the best of both worlds. Ultimately the decision on which operating system you prefer becomes irrelevant in January 2020 as security and updates become a more relevant topic and your hand is forced in that you cannot afford to stay on an unsupported OS and open your company up to potential security risks.
Speak to one of our team about a free trial of Windows 10 Enterprise or Microsoft 365
Contact our team via email or telephone them on 0114 292 2911.