It’s often said that when one door closes, another door opens, and the same can be said of Windows. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7†. This may seem like bad news if your company, like many others, still uses the 10-year-old operating system, but it may be just the incentive you need to capitalize on the performance and security improvements offered by Windows 10.
What Happens on January 14, 2020?
January 14, 2020, may be described as Windows 7’s “end of life‡” date, but PCs running Windows 7 won’t stop working at the stroke of midnight on that day. Instead, they will continue to operate just as they did.
What does change is the support offered to Windows 7 users. On this date, Microsoft will stop producing updates to improve performance or introduce new features. The lack of technical support from Microsoft means companies will have to address issues in-house. The most significant impact, however, will be on security. Microsoft will not provide security updates or patches to address emerging threats, which places your systems and data at greater risk.
What Are Your Options?
Given the risks associated with continuing to use Windows 7 after the “end of life” date, it is recommended that businesses upgrade to Windows 10 and upgrade their hardware to enhance the new operating system’s performance#. For companies not ready to upgrade yet, there are a few possible short-term solutions.
- Purchase extended security updates. These updates are available through January 2023 to companies running Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise editions. However, the costs will be high and are expected to increase over time†.
- Use existing hardware. It may be possible to upgrade to Windows 10 without purchasing new PCs, but many companies will be better off updating their computers as well because older machines may struggle to run Windows 10#. Additionally, the latest PCs typically are faster, are more energy efficient, and have more advanced security features, enabling you to take advantage of the many benefits Windows 10 has to offer.
What Are the Benefits of Windows 10?
Upgrading to Windows 10 can offer a variety of benefits§, including:
- Increased speed. One of the most noticeable improvements is an increase in operating speed, significantly streamlining the start-up process and other tasks.
- Improved usability and productivity. Examples include a simplified start menu, the ability to display more than two windows side by side on one screen, access to cloud-based services without having to enter credentials, touch-screen functionality, and a seamless experience across multiple devices.
- Enhanced security. Windows 10 contains a variety of built-in security tools that may help prevent and detect attacks and unauthorized access and ensure that the latest security updates are installed automatically.
Windows 10 also provides access to certain features that are not available on Windows 7, including Cortana, Microsoft’s digital personal assistant.
Lease Financing Can Smooth the Transition
If you plan to upgrade to new PCs or other hardware in connection with the transition to Windows 10, you may want to consider a lease financing solution. Leasing provides a lower up-front capital investment and predictable monthly payments. It also allows you to deploy a strategic technology refresh cycle. In doing so, your employees will have access to the latest equipment, which has been shown to improve productivity¶.
When Should I Transition Operating Systems?
If your company is using Windows 7, it’s important to begin exploring your options well in advance of the end-of-support date. Keep in mind that you will need time to test existing or new software and hardware before you fully transition to a new operating system.
At Huntington Technology Finance, we will work with you to craft a software upgrade and asset refresh strategy that provides our best possible mix of financial benefits, flexibility, and innovation for your business.