In less than two months, Microsoft will be pulling the plug on the Windows 7 operating system (OS). This means that all technical support, software updates, and security patches will no longer be available for the OS. All systems running Windows 7 will eventually become vulnerable to cyberthreats such as malware, phishing, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, among others.
Even if Windows 7’s demise is looming, the OS still has a significant 34.49% market share, according to the latest data by Netmarketshare. Despite this, it’s important to know that you have to eventually leave the OS for good and upgrade your PCs to a more modern system. But what should your business do? Here are a few ideas to consider:
Option #1: Upgrade to Windows 10
This is the most obvious and practical solution for any business using Windows 7. As of this writing, Windows 10 currently has a 45.19% market share worldwide, and it’s not difficult to see why. Windows 10 offers more robust security solutions, delivers updates more efficiently, and has a wider range of compatible productivity apps.
It also offers almost the same user interface as Windows 7. Some might encounter a learning curve on some aspects such as file search and task switching, but they will find adapting to the OS easier than they expect. Windows 10 lets users enjoy all the Windows 7 features they are already used to while also offering new ones that can improve their productivity.
If you need help upgrading your systems to Windows 10, reach out to USWired. We can make your migration from Windows 7 as smooth as possible, without experiencing downtime that can disrupt your office’s productivity.
Option #2: Stick to Windows 7
There’s always the option to stick to what you already have. If you decide to stick to Windows 7 and use it beyond its end-of-support date of January 14, 2020, your computers will still function as they would, and your employees can still use programs and access files.
However, because it’s officially no longer supported, PCs running it will be left defenseless against cyberattacks. Without the regular security patches that keep threats at bay, it will only be a matter of time before your business suffers a major data breach. This is a compelling reason to leave Windows 7.
For businesses that find it difficult to let go of the 10-year-old OS or are still in the process of migrating to a newer OS, Microsoft is offering extended support for Windows 7. This will cost $50 per device, and this price will double every year.
A full Windows 10 Pro license will only cost $199.99 in comparison. This will also entitle the user to new features as well as security updates.
Option #3: Try another OS
Microsoft holds the biggest market share on desktop OSs at a staggering 87.38%, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try other options available in the market
For instance, switching to macOS is a good idea if you’re concerned about security, as cyberthreats are far less prevalent there compared to Windows. Linux also offers a wide variety of distribution lines and apps for free. This is a compelling option if you’re looking to save on costs. For companies reliant on internet-based apps such as Google Apps, they can use Chrome OS.
It’s not easy to jump to an entirely different OS, however. Let’s say your business moved to Linux from Windows 7, and you want to install Microsoft Office. There’s no official app available, and an alternative may not display your files correctly, costing you precious time and money.
It’s time to plan your Windows 7 exit strategy before time runs out. The technology experts at USWired can help you decide the path to take and ensure that your upgrade will help your business reach new heights. Drop us a line today to learn more.