What version of Windows is your company using?
It might not be the most exciting question you’ve ever been asked. But it’s an important one. Because the latest version of Windows – Windows 10 – is now available (and has been for a number of years). Despite this, many businesses are continuing to use older versions of Windows and as a result, could be putting their business at risk.
The risks are especially great if your business is still using Windows 7. Because support for Windows 7 is coming to an end. If you don’t upgrade in time, you could leave your business vulnerable to security attacks, downtime and endless frustration.
In this article, we’ll explain why it’s important to upgrade your operating system (OS) to Windows 10. We’ll also explain the benefits Windows 10 offers your business and if you’re still using Windows 7, we’ll let you know what to do next.
Is your operating system out-of-date?
Updating office computer software is a task that’s often left until the last minute.
Office managers might be put off by the perceived upheaval of upgrading. CEOs might worry about downtime. And your staff might be reluctant to change to a new system.
But upgrading your office PC and laptop operating systems is not something you should put off.
Your operating system (for example, Windows) is the primary software that manages all the hardware and software on your computers. It ‘talks’ to your computer’s hardware, providing services that your applications need to run.
Your operating system keeps everything on your computer running effectively. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to do anything. Your keyboard, mouse, storage devices, display, printer, memory, security… everything is reliant on your operating system.
Usually, we don’t put much thought into our operating system. As long as it’s ticking along behind the scenes keeping everything running properly, we’re happy. That’s why many of us just stick with the operating system that first came with our PC, laptop or other devices.
But of course, as our device ages, our OS does too. So, if your device is more than a couple of years old, it’s likely that you’re using an older version of the operating system. Sometimes, this doesn’t matter too much. It simply means you’re not able to take advantage of the latest improvements to the OS. However, problems start to occur more frequently when the gap between your existing OS and the latest version available grows. So, after owning a device for a few years, it’s likely that your OS is out-of-date and that’s when issues can arise.
What’s the latest version of Windows?
The latest version of Windows is Windows 10.
Windows 10 was launched in 2015 but crucially, the developers continually improve and update the software to take advantage of the latest best-practice. These improvements are driven to your computer in the form of updates – as long as you have Windows 10 installed, of course. That means, if you’re running Windows 10, you know you’re using the best and latest version of the Microsoft software.
However, if you have an older version of Windows, you could be putting your business at risk. Especially, if you’re still running Windows 7.
Why upgrade Windows 7?
Windows 7 was released 10 years ago in 2009 – that was the same year as the iPhone 3G S! And that’s a lot of years in the fast-paced world of technology.
Mainstream support of Windows 7 ended in 2015. That meant that users would receive no improvements to their OS after this time – although essential security updates were still provided. But from January 2020, users of Windows 7 will stop receiving security updates altogether. That means if you continue to run Windows 7 in your business, you’re severely exposed to vulnerabilities.
When support for Windows 7 ends on 14th January 2020, your computer will continue to work but you’ll no longer receive the following from Microsoft:
- Technical support for any issues
- Software updates
- Security updates or fixes
The good news is, it’s pretty easy to upgrade to Windows 10. And you don’t have to go it alone. With the help of a good IT support partner, you can make the process hassle-free.
How your business can benefit by upgrading to Windows 10
The latest version of Windows is more secure than ever with more developments and security updates. As well as providing enhanced security, Windows 10 delivers a host of other benefits to your business. Let’s take a look:
Puts everyone on the same operating system
If you’ve upgraded machines in your office over time, you may find different members of staff are using different versions of Windows. This can cause confusion and a loss of efficiency in your business. Instead, it makes much more sense to have everyone using the same OS.
When everyone is using the same operating system, it is easier to share documents and work collaboratively. It also means that if team members need to switch computers (when hot-desking, or in meetings for example), everything is familiar and easy to access.
Makes training easier
Keeping up-to-date with the latest OS means it’s not such a big jump for staff to make when a new version is released. This means you won’t need to spend so much time retraining staff and you won’t lose as much time while your teams get used to a new system.
Create the right impression
Using the latest operating system sends a positive message to your staff that you’re a forward-thinking organisation. This is particularly important when hiring new members of staff.
Imagine the frustration for a new recruit if they come into your organisation and are expected to use Windows 7 when they’re already used to the benefits of Windows 10. It would seem like a huge step backwards for them.
Quicker resolution of issues
When you do encounter issues, your IT team or IT support partner will be able to resolve them much more quickly if you’re using the latest version of Windows.
Are you waiting until later in the year to upgrade to Windows 10?
January 2020 may seem a little way off but it’s a good idea to upgrade your operating system now while you still have time.
Machines and devices running on Windows 7 are most likely well over the recommended lifecycle and could give up on you at any time. When machines start to fail, it affects your entire business with a decrease in productivity and an increase in employee frustration.
Don’t be at the back of the queue
IT support companies are likely to get very busy as the deadline to upgrade from Windows 7 approaches. So, don’t get stuck in a queue – act now and beat the rush.
Can I just upgrade the OS – or do I need to replace our computers?
It is possible to install Windows 10 onto older devices but it’s not recommended.
You might be tempted to cut costs by continuing to use old devices for as long as possible but in the long run, this approach doesn’t make financial sense and could end up costing you more.
If you choose to simply update your operating system without replacing your computers, you might find that your hardware fails shortly after.
If you’re running Windows 7, it’s likely that your device is at least 3 years old. So, the cost of licensing and labour to upgrade the OS doesn’t make financial sense. You’ll need to spend around £300 to upgrade to the latest version of Windows. So why not put that towards a new device that is already installed with Windows 10 and is likely to last for at least another 3 years?
The benefits Windows 10 delivers for your business
Windows 10 provides a raft of benefits for businesses. Here are just a few:
- Built-in security to keep your business safe, including firewall and internet protections to help safeguard against viruses, malware and ransomware.
- Faster start-ups – Microsoft says that Windows 10 computers start-up on average 28% faster than older computers, so your staff can get to work more quickly.
- A range of useful apps built in to help your teams work more efficiently.
- Smart design to make every task more enjoyable.
- Modern time-saving features such as touch screens, digital pens and facial recognition.
- A wide range of options to suit different ways of working, from ultra-thin laptops for working on the go, to 2-in-1s for sleek presentations, or desktop PCs for traditional office working.
- Cut out distractions – Windows 10 lets users pause notifications, alerts and sounds so they can focus on the task at hand without being interrupted.
- For businesses, there’s also Windows 10 Pro – with enterprise-grade security and enhanced features to help your business do more.
Things to think about before upgrading your operating system
It’s important to back up all your files before upgrading your operating system. This means if there are any unexpected crashes during the process, you won’t lose any important data.
It’s also worth thinking about your overall IT requirements. If you haven’t upgraded your computers for a while, it’s likely that your business needs have changed since your last investment. This might be the perfect time to review your needs. Rather than simply replacing like-for-like, consider whether you’d now benefit from laptops or 2-in-1s, rather than traditional PCs?
From changes in flexible working to the way we deliver presentations to clients – a lot has changed in the last 10 years so your hardware needs may have changed too.
How do I get Windows 10?
You can purchase Windows 10 to install on older devices. However, we recommend taking the opportunity to upgrade your hardware. This way you’ll be getting all the benefits of Windows 10 plus the additional benefits of using the latest hardware, in the most cost-effective way.
If you need help upgrading to Windows 10, we’re here for you. We’re a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner – an accreditation that only 1 in 40 partners achieves.
Our accreditation and knowledge of Microsoft mean we provide best-practice support and our expert engineers can install new versions of Windows quickly and efficiently.
As well as helping you to upgrade to Windows 10, we can also help you reassess your IT hardware and software requirements at the same time. Together, we’ll make sure your company is secure, efficient and up-to-date, now and into the future.
If you’re already a Netstar client and want to learn more about your options, please contact your Account Manager directly, or call us on 020 7101 0545.