Windows 7 is a popular and robust operating system that is widely used in businesses. However, the time has come to say goodbye as extended support ends on January 14, 2020. Find out why you should start thinking about a successor now and what you need to consider.
What does “end of support” mean?
If a Windows version is no longer supported, no more software updates will be made available. Overall performance and reliability will decrease because, for example, new hardware drivers can no longer be installed.
More importantly, there will be no more security updates. This means that the PC is no longer fully protected against viruses or malware. A company accepts a higher security risk with a version of Windows that is no longer supported.
A current operating system is essential for IT security
More and more companies are affected by cyber attacks – according to the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), 70 percent of the companies surveyed were victims of a cyber attack in 2016 and 2017. These can cost companies dearly. Nearly half of these attacks were successful, and in one quarter the attack led to operational failures.
In these cases, companies not only have additional work to do to close the security gap, they also have to cope with a loss of production. In addition, there is the loss of trust among customers and potential new customers. This damage to reputation can even have a negative impact on a company’s business opportunities over a longer period of time.
Secure operating system as basis for cybersecurity in the company
Of course, the operating system alone cannot fend off all cyber attacks, but it provides the basis to build the security concept on and is therefore an important component of IT security in companies. As technology advances in the field of artificial intelligence, malicious software develops rapidly and finds ever more sophisticated ways to penetrate the IT systems of companies. Regular and timely updates offer protection against these threats.
Switching to a new Windows version highly recommended
With the phasing out of support for Windows 7, there is an urgent need for action for all companies that still use the operating system. We recommend switching to Windows 10. The Pro version of the current November 2018 version of Windows 10 is valid in extended support until January 9, 2029.
The Windows 10 operating system has already established itself as a reliable and user-friendly software package for many users. Switching from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is relatively intuitive, as familiar functions such as the Start menu have a similar design. In addition, some improvements have been introduced to increase productivity, such as a faster startup, a more powerful browser, and other features that help users keep track of tasks.
Why Invest Now
If you are about to make a change, you should do so as early as possible, because an upgrade to a new operating system should be carefully prepared. In this way, difficulties can be identified in advance and solutions found.
It can happen that parts of the hardware or software are incompatible with the new operating system. For this reason, tests should be carried out beforehand to clarify whether certain programs need to be adapted or updated and whether the drivers for hardware such as printers will also work in the new version.
Don’t underestimate the changeover for employees
The test run can ensure a smooth transition during the changeover, which neither impairs productivity nor is a strain on the nerves of everyone involved. The psychological component should not be underestimated either:
The introduction of a new operating system is always a major change for the workforce. Some functions from Windows 7 have been revised for Windows 10, and well-established workflows have to be relearned. The more seamlessly the upgrade process works and the fewer technical problems there are, the better the new system will be accepted by the employees.
System Requirements for Windows 10
In order to install Windows 10, the following requirements should be met:
- Current Windows 7 SPI or Windows 8.1 version
If the current version does not run on the device, it can be downloaded from the Microsoft website.
The processor or SoC should have at least 1 GHz.
- main memory
For the 32-bit version you need 1 GB, for the 64 version you need 2 GB.
- hard disk space
16 GB needs the 32-bit version, the 64-bit version requires 20 GB operating memory
- graphics card
The graphics card should be at least DirectX 9 with a WDDM 1.0 driver.
- Screen resolution
A screen resolution of at least 800×600 pixels should be guaranteed.
In addition you should pay attention to drivers, firmware and existing applications. For example, you may not be able to run all functionality because the device hardware may be incompatible, current drivers may be missing, or OEM or third-party support has expired.
The “Get Windows 10” app also helps here, because it automatically checks whether the device is compatible with the operating system. For more specifications and information on specific features, see the datasheet.
Work safely even after Windows 7 support expires
If you react early and check carefully whether your hardware and software are compatible with the new Windows version, nothing stands in the way of a successful conversion. In addition, you are equipped for productive and safe working.
Cover picture: Microsoft