If your business has machines running Windows 7, you only have a few months before vital security updates come to an end. And if you haven’t replaced your operating system (OS) by that time, then your business is left open to security vulnerabilities that could result in a data breach.
The Windows lifecycle for the popular Windows 7 operating system is coming to an end on January 14, 2020. After that date, extended support ends. This is known as the “end of life” in OS terms. Managed IT Asia’s IT Security Services Team has had this date noted because they know the impact that a non-supported OS can have on a company’s network and data security. They’ve been assisting customers throughout Asia with their preparation to ensure business security and compliance stays intact.
The good news for those that really liked the Windows 7 OS is that Windows 10 has been equally well received. Over the last several months, it’s surpassed Windows 7 in popularity, currently holding 45.75% of the operating system market share (#1), with Windows 7 at 35.44% (#2). Windows 10 is the number one operating system in the world.
So, how do you prepare your Windows 7 machines for the OS end of life? What are your options for those PCs running the operating system? You’ve got information on the three key replacement options you can choose from. We’ll go into each next and how to decide which one should be used for each PC running the soon-to-be outdated OS.
Your Three Main Options for Handling PCs Running Windows 7
Continuing to use computers that are running Windows 7 after support ends is not really an option if you want to keep your data safe from a breach. Reasons you don’t want to use an outdated operating system are:
- You’ll be left without any updates, including the important security patches
- Any found security vulnerabilities can easily be exploited by hackers
- You’ll risk compliance violations with data privacy rules
- Newer software and hardware may no longer support that OS
- Tech support will be more difficult to find for the outdated OS
Over the next several months, here are the main options you have for replacing Windows 7 systems.
Option 1: Upgrade Device to New Windows License
For those PC’s that meet Windows 10 hardware requirements, you’ll have the easiest and least expensive option, which is upgrading the computer to Windows 10. Before the upgrade, you’ll want to ensure the system is completely backed up, and it’s best to have a professional on-call to help if you hit any snags during the upgrade. Or better yet, have a professional, like Managed IT Asia, handle the upgrades for you to ensure everything goes smoothly. Hardware requirements for Windows 10:
- Processor: 1 GHz or faster, or System on a Chip (Soc)
- RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Hard Drive: 32 GB or larger hard disk
- Graphics Card: Compatible with DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 800x600
- Internet Connection: Needed to perform updates and take advantage of certain features
- Do note that these are minimum requirements to run Windows 10 and there may be additional requirements over time for updates, as well as requirements to turn on specific features within the Operating System.
How long does the Windows 10 upgrade take?
According to Microsoft, the average time for the upgrade to Windows 10 is about two hours. Older systems can take longer, and newer systems may take less time.
Option 2: Upgrade Hardware to Meet Requirements
If your computer isn’t too far away from the upgrade requirements, then you can upgrade hardware in order to meet the specs to support a Windows 10 upgrade. This could mean upgrading to a larger hard drive with more space, updating your graphics card, or increasing RAM. Certain systems have open memory slots that can support increasing memory, this often provides a noticeable increase in speed and performance. So, you may find that upgrading components to support Windows 10 will also give you other advantages like a faster and better performing PC. If you’re unsure whether your devices can be upgraded, contact us. Our IT Projects Team can take a look at your computers and let you know whether a hardware upgrade is possible or makes sense, depending upon the age of the device.
Option 3: Computer Replacement
You may find that some computers just aren’t worth upgrading the hardware or won’t be able to support a hardware update. Systems that are older than five years should have a hard look taken to see if they should just be replaced rather than adding new hardware to a system that’s on its last legs. Some common signs that a computer should be replaced are:
- It’s become very slow
- Newer applications aren’t compatible with it
- It’s increasingly down and needs repairs often
- It’s run out of space
- It’s hard to find parts due to its age
While replacing the entire computer is going to cost more than just updating the operating system, most new PCs will already come with Windows 10, so you won’t have to purchase it for computers that you’re replacing.
Get Help with Windows 10 Replacement Options
Do you need help deciding which computers should be upgraded and which ones should be replaced? Not sure if your PC meets Windows 10 upgrade requirements? Managed IT Asia can remove the mystery and give you a full inventory of your devices that run Windows 7 and which option we recommend. Contact us today to get started at +65 6748 8776 or through our contact form.
MANAGED IT ASIA, we are an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses across Asia. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!