On the 14th January 2020, both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will reach end of support. This can have massive implications for your business, particularly regarding security. So it is crucial that you begin planning to upgrade these operating systems if they are in use at your business.

What does end of support mean?

If you continue to use out of date versions of Windows after support has ended, your PC or server will still work, but it may become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Your device will continue to start and run, but Microsoft will no longer provide the software updates, security updates or technical support for your business.

How does this affect security and GDPR?

Continuing to use either of these operating systems after end of life would leave your business wide open to cyber-attacks. Security updates are often created to fix vulnerabilities that are being used by hackers, and so many will specifically target outdated operating systems because of this.

As you would no longer be receiving security updates from Microsoft, you wouldn’t be protecting personal data, and this would mean you are not being GDPR compliant.

To avoid security risks and viruses it is recommended you upgrade to the latest version, Windows 10.

Percentage of desktops running versions of Windows in 2019

40.16% – WINDOWS 10

38.06% – WINDOWS 7 (support ending soon)

8.59% – WINDOWS XP, 8 and 8.1 (no longer supported)

source – NetApplications.com

Windows 10 Features

There are a whole bunch of really useful features built in to Windows 10, so handy in fact that you’ll probably wonder how you managed all these years without it! Some of these include:

  • Made for the multitasker – Windows 10 makes it far easier to juggle multiple windows when you’re working. Aero Snap offers both half and quarter monitor layouts when you drag a window to one part of the desktop, as well as automatically resizing windows to fill empty space automatically. Windows 10 also supports virtual desktops, which makes working with full-screen windows much easier.
  • Return of the Start Menu – Microsoft has brought back the Start Menu. It displays pinned, recently and most-used apps, as well as power options and a customisable panel of live tiles.
  • Just ask Cortana – Microsoft’s voice-controlled digital assistant Cortana, makes it easier to interact with your device without lifting a finger.
  • Unified settings and Control Panel – Instead of having two apps to control your device settings and PC settings, Microsoft has streamlined the settings making them all easy to find in one place.

Will this only affect office devices?

As well as on-site laptops and computers, it’s worth thinking about restricting any members of the team from accessing the network from personal devices not running a supported version of Windows. If you have a server make sure you check its operating system too.

Do I need to upgrade my devices?

Having all these new features does mean that newer operating systems, such as Windows 10, require a slightly higher machine specification than their predecessors. You may be able to continue with your current devices, however it is important to check that they will be able handle the upgrade to be sure.

If you’re not sure which version your devices are running or need any advice just get in touch and a member of our expert team will be more than happy to help.