If, like many, you are still using Windows 7, then it may be time for you to get out of your comfort zone. Most of us are creatures of habitats and are happy to put up and make do. However, with Windows 7 life support due to come to end in 12 months, now is the time to consider your options.
All Windows products come with a lifecycle. It begins at the launch of a product and ends when there is no longer support. With Windows products there are 2 types of support: mainstream and extended support. For Windows 7, the mainstream support ended January 2015 while the extended support is due to end 14th January 2020. It is worth noting that Windows 7 will still be available when it goes to end of life. However, it’s a risky business, leaving users open to potential threats.
Windows 10 – A new era
So, what is so great about Windows 10? One of the main attractions Windows 10 brings to the arena is Microsoft’s new procedure Windows-as-a-Service, which unlike the old upgrade path, there will be continuous stream of new versions of the product. This means Windows 10 will now deploy updates every 6 months instead several every month. For businesses this means they need not worry about monitoring upgrades and support. Windows 10 also reveals their new servicing channels as part of the product. Microsoft’s move to Windows-as-a-Service provides the ideal product for today’s fast-paced world.
Too many feature updates?
If previous versions of Windows have left you frustrated by the continuous stream of updates, you are not alone. A major influence in the new design of Windows 10 is the modern workplace and how we use technology. Microsoft’s new update delivery schedule will have one monthly update.
What can I expect from the monthly updates?
There are 2 main benefits to the changes in the update schedule:
- That each monthly update will supersede the previous month and contain both security and non-security fixes.
- Reduce unexpected issues with simpler patching means more uptime and less downtime.
All new servicing channels
Microsoft have introduced three servicing channels to work alongside the new delivery schedule. The servicing channels allows the decision maker to:
- Control the frequency of updates for individual devices
- To have the opportunity to test devices with a new feature before they are added
- Manage feature updates for specialised devices with longer update cycles requirements to ensure continuity.
What are the new servicing channels?
The Window Insider Programme provides organisations with the opportunity to test and provide feedback on features that will be in the next feature.
The Semi-Annual Channel provides new functionality with twice per year feature update releases. Organisations can choose when to deploy updates from the Semi-Annual Channel.
The Long-Term Servicing Channel is for specialised devices and receives new feature releases every 2 to 3 years
Plan of action
With less than a year to go, businesses need to start preparing and planning to ensure a smooth transition. To save you time we have put together a list of actions you should consider.
- Identify machines that need to be replaced or upgraded
- Review operating systems using older software and replacement software required
- Consider implementing security controls to separate critical systems from Windows 7 machines than can not be upgraded or removed
- Put together a timeline and budget of the replacements and upgrades
- Plan staff training required for new equipment and software
Your next steps
If you are unsure whether Windows 10 is right for you, then we recommend you review your current IT systems. If you would like further help, then contact our Microsoft experts on 01244 408990, and let them help you find the right product for your business.