Is migrating to Windows 10 a painful inevitability?
End-of-life for products has always been something that customers need to bear in mind; the pace of technology innovation makes it almost an inevitability. Occasionally traumatic, help is usually available from the vendor to make the transition to an alternative product or platform.
The trauma is usually felt by the end-user, rather than the re-seller. Customers get used to a product or service and don’t feel the need for change. And neither is functionally-richer technology necessarily well-received from the outset – we all remember the public outcry when Microsoft launched Windows 8 without a start button and the plethora of blogs that advised how to restore your desktop to its original state.
Once again, Microsoft’s technological innovation train has done its thing. Windows 7, so beloved by many, had its mainstream support withdrawn on January 13th 2015; the extended support will stop on January 14th 2020. From April this year, users may well have started to receive pop-up notifications, advising the change and explaining how they can transition to Windows 10 and / or Office 365. You can of course choose to stay with Windows 7, but your computer will be vulnerable to viruses, security threats and bugs in general. And this is no small threat – cyber crime is on the increase as hackers find ways to infiltrate systems. The WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows OS and over the course of four days, claimed over 200,000 victims with more than 300,000 computers affected.
So, inevitable this change may be, but how much pain is likely to be felt by customers?
The start of the process requires a good understanding of what you’re entering into, to inform on costs, timing, number of licences you will need and any support required. You’ll need a thorough inventory of all your devices and machines – how many computers will need to be migrated and is the existing hardware in sufficiently good order? Windows 10 uses a more powerful operating system than its precursors, so older machines may need to be updated. Now is also a good time to take a look at what apps you and your staff are using – Windows 10 does not require you to uninstall and reinstall so everything will get carried over. Do you need every app or have some ‘Shadow IT’ apps crept in that could be rationalised? And then there’s the important issue of whether your business-critical systems will be compatible with Windows 10 – luckily, Microsoft has developed a software solutions page that should make this point an easy one to cross off your list. Finally, don’t forget that every iteration of Windows carries some degree of difference, so some staff training might be needed.
Some desktop gadgets will disappear – make sure you have a good, last go of Solitaire and Minesweeper as the Windows 10 versions are quite different – including anything that came directly from your computer’s manufacturer. Anti-virus software will uninstall and then reinstall – it’s worth checking carefully that your preferred antivirus solution is in place and working as out-of-date subscriptions will be replaced by Microsoft’s own anti-virus app.
On the plus side, Microsoft claims that Windows 10 is the most secure Windows that the company has ever created, with Office 365 delivering the latest in modern productivity. Large and small businesses alike rightfully place huge emphasis on keeping sensitive data protected and which business has ever turned its nose up at happy, collaborative staff that can work anywhere, from any device? The other, rather large positive is that Microsoft will continually push updates to Win10 machines, lessening your need for expensive, on-premise PC management.
If this all sounds like a big headache that you would rather not deal with alone, Allvotec can help. We can advise you on the most effective way to migrate or we can perform basic to extensive migrations on a schedule that suits you. With over 30 years’ of delivering value through our partnerships with the world’s leading service providers, we can offer you reliable, proven experts to ensure that nothing gets missed, leaving your business to keep running smoothly.
At Allvotec, together we can.
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