As of 14th January 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer security updates and support for Windows 7. Windows 7 EOS means that the product's lifecycle is coming to an end. Are you ready for it?
If you're an Australian-based technology reseller or a business in the technology space, read on to see why upgrading to windows 10 now, is vital.
For starters, why is Microsoft ending its support for the Windows version?
Windows 7 is an operating system (OS) that Microsoft released on 22nd October 2009 as part of the Windows NT family.
As technology continually evolves and changes, a hacker’s mission is to keep finding new ways to bypass existing security measures. In other words, hackers are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Companies like Microsoft are continually innovating to stay several steps ahead of the latest and evolving threat landscape.
Consequently, Microsoft has to naturally phase out older versions of products to give way for newer and more secure ones. It's costly and difficult to maintain both older and newer code and that's why Microsoft plans for upgrade dates and also provides its ecosystem with constant deadlines reminders.
Microsoft pledged a 10-year-support period when Windows 7 was launched and that comes to an end in January 2020. The Windows 7 End of Support (EOS) stands to leave many businesses vulnerable if they don't upgrade before 14th January 2020.
Will devices that rely on the Windows 7 operating system still operate if users ignore the upgrade?
Notebooks, tablets, desktops and any other gadgets that rely on the older operating system will continue to function normally. However, businesses risk exposure to severe risks that may have severe adverse effects.
Windows 7 users have received multiple reminders about EOS since April 2019, prompting them to upgrade. However, millions of users still haven't refreshed to modern devices running the safer and more secure Windows 10. This is particularly worrying for the Australian IT channel that are responsible for the IT environments for millions of Australian businesses.
It's paramount that businesses upgrade to Windows 10, to protect against vulnerabilities.
In a nutshell, here's what will happen after the EOS date passes for Windows 7:
- No more windows security updates
- Microsoft will no longer offer technical support
- No more software updates
Aside from avoiding attacks, businesses also stand to gain from refreshing their fleet to a modern device at a functional and productivity level. The following are the top advantages of refreshing your customers’ devices to the latest technology.
Benefits of upgrading to Windows 10 now
The OS comes with highly intuitive tools that transform any work environment into a highly efficient one. Windows 10 integrates Microsoft Office 365 and a diverse toolkit of applications and services.
Users on Android, iOS, Mac and Windows can edit and view files across the multiple devices. With OneDrive, users can edit and share in real-time. Windows 10 also comes with easy-to-use templates for creating marketing plans, budget proposals and business pitches.
The administrator panel comes with a user-friendly interface built from customer feedback. Therefore, the entire setup addresses past issues of previous versions and the result is a solution that eases management for users.
With this version, installation and device management takes just a short five minutes to setup. No target configuration is necessary here, making management stress-free.
As cyber threats become more advanced no business should cut corners when it comes to IT security. Windows 10 features Windows Defender Advanced Protection (ATP) and a windows sandbox.
The sandbox allows users to first run untrustworthy programs in a detached environment. This way, the OS can detect whether a program is malicious or not, before executing.
More space creation
Space issues can affect a PC's performance. Without adequate space, it's also impossible to install important updates. Windows 10 offers several options for users to free-up disk space for the easier and smooth running of operations.
Autopilot with Windows 10
Deploy new devices into your customers’ environment with ease when using Microsoft Windows 10 Autopilot. Autopilot enables you to:
- Automatically join devices to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) or Active Directory (via Hybrid Azure AD Join). See Introduction to device management in Azure Active Directory for more information about the differences between these two join options.
- Auto-enroll devices into MDM services, such as Microsoft Intune (Requires an Azure AD Premium subscription).
- Restrict the Administrator account creation.
- Create and auto-assign devices to configuration groups based on a device's profile.
- Customise OOBE content specific to the organization.
How to upgrade to Windows 10
There are two options for upgrading to the new windows version;
- Purchasing a new modern device preinstalled with Windows 10*
- Purchasing a newer version of the OS and installing it in a compatible device
Dicker Data recommends upgrading to a new modern device. Installing Windows 10 on a legacy or incompatible device may limit the availability of some useful features.
With any upgrades, there's always the conversation surrounding cost. Upgrading from a legacy system is costly and most businesses don't have funds lying around for technological transformations.
Fortunately, if you're an Australian partner, Dicker Data can help with its newly launched Financial Services capabilities.
Dicker Data Financial Service (DDFS) allows businesses to leverage their financial power, by moving from a Capital Expenditure (CapEx) to Operational Expenditure (OPEX) procurement model. With OPEX, a business can pay for the upgrade in flexible monthly installments as opposed to hefty one-off expenses, hence making the latest technology solutions accessible to every business of any size.
Taking this approach is particularly important when reseller partners are refreshing the devices for businesses that do not regularly update their IT equipment. By moving them onto a device-as-a-service plan with DDFS, they’ll automatically be eligible for device upgrades in 2 or 3 years’ time at a similar monthly price point to what they’re already paying. The best is, you as their trusted technology partner collect the full margin on the device refresh every time.
Besides the above, here are some more benefits to utilizing DDFS;
- Direct financing hence no brokers, leasing companies or banks
- The freedom to rollout a Managed Service Provider (MSP) system to serve your clients better
- Monthly invoice generation for cloud, hardware and software, as well as subscriptions
- Access to the TheAssetAdvantage essential for asset management, as well as report generation and customer cycle management.
- Tailor-made solutions unique to customer needs
Windows 7 EOS is fast approaching and this is the time to transition. Companies risk exposing their businesses to data breaches and exploitation from cyber-attacks. Upgrading to Windows 10 also presents an opportunity for companies to upgrade their customers to modern devices running Windows 10.