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Top 5 Risks When You Stay with Windows 7 this 2020

Top 5 Risks When You Stay with Windows 7 this 2020 1920 1280 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Windows 7 End of Life

Microsoft will no longer be supporting Windows 7 after a ten-year stint—as announced last December 16, 2019.

The purpose of this direction is for the tech giant to pour its ample resources into more lucrative, newer technologies. Essentially, Microsoft has squeezed as much juice as it can out of Windows 7. It doesn’t make sense for them to continue providing technical assistance and software updates that protect PCs using the outdated program.

The Impact on Your Businesses

First and foremost, Windows 7 is still being used on 39% of all PCs.

And a year from now in January 2021, Windows 7 will be used on 18.7% of all PCs, which accounts for around 281 million machines.

What does that mean, exactly? That even at under 20% of total usage on PCs, there are still over 280 million systems with Windows 7 in place. At such a vast number, it’s fair to guess that small to medium businesses make up enough of those totals. Especially since many owners might wish to sidestep the costly nature of upgrades.

Though, with the removal of all support for the system, keeping Windows 7 installed will end up being more costly than merely paying for the upgrade to Windows 10.

So, as a business owner or stakeholder who may still be using Windows 7, you’re likely interested in knowing what might happen after neglecting to upgrade.

Let’s examine some of the most significant risks involved in continuing to use Windows 7 on your PC and how it can affect your workplace:

The Top 5 Risks of Staying with Windows 7

Risk # 1.      No More Technical Support

Last year, Microsoft patched 29 Windows 7 vulnerabilities in April alone.

Of those vulnerabilities, 6 were rated critical with the other 23 being deemed important.

Think about it, that’s one month alone—and the only reason those changes were made was due to an extended support phase focused on fixing flaws. Those snafus on Windows 7, since it’s an older system, have continually surged over the years. Now, without support, these issues will be seemingly never-ending.   

Risk # 2.      Heightened Cybersecurity Risk

Studies from 2018 about cybersecurity in small-and-medium-sized businesses reported that 67% of survey respondents experienced some form of cyber-attack. On top of that, another 58% went through a data breach with employee or customer information.

These stats prove that businesses are already susceptible to these attacks. With Windows 7 now lacking the infrastructure to deal with these issues, if you don’t upgrade, the consequences could be disastrous.

Risk # 3.      Additional Costs

On a per-system basis, it’ll be possible to receive extended security support. However, there’s an additional fee paid to Microsoft per computer to obtain the appropriate security updates. Furthermore, the dollar amount owed to Microsoft will double every year and caps out at a maximum of three years.

The price begins at $50 per machine—meaning by 3 years it’ll be $150 per device. If you have around 10 machines, that can prove quite costly.

Risk # 4.      Falling Behind the Competition

As Windows 7 becomes more obsolete, more businesses will be using Windows 10. 

As technologies keep improving, functionality enhances. If you’re on an outdated system, the slower it’ll run, and it’ll be less equipped to handle the state-of-the-art tools that’ll keep you ahead of your competitors.

Risk # 5. Frustrating Your Team

When your employees end up with inferior technology, their morale tends to suffer. For many staff members, it can be a bad look when you fail to equip them with systems, programs, and software that isn’t – at the very least – up to date.

If you don’t update to Windows 10 soon, your team might get the idea that you aren’t invested fully in their success. From there, frustration brews, work tends to be negatively impacted, and you’ll have an office full of employees at their wit’s end.

The Very Real Problem of Malware in the Workplace

As technology keeps reaching new heights, so does its propensity to be malicious and dangerous. Businesses far and wide must be eternally vigilant in the face of these threats that can damage both their reputation and bottom line.

For instance, recently, Landry’s, Inc., an American, privately owned, multi-brand dining, hospitality, entertainment, and gaming corporation, identified malware on its payment processing system.

The malware was designed to access payment card data from cards used in person. Interestingly, the card data wasn’t readable due to the end-to-end encryption technology used at points-of-sale. So, the malware was prevented from accessing payment card data.

Although this hasn’t occurred on a Windows 7, these attacks come from everywhere when sensitive information or money is involved. As proven by Landry’s, with state-of-the-art systems in place, these cyber breaches situations can be nipped in the bud.

So how do you mitigate these risks?

The short answer is to move to Windows 10 to receive the full support from Microsoft. This can be done by upgrading your operating system on your existing PC’s, assuming your hardware is capable of handling the demands of a modern operating system. If you PC is more than 3 or 4 years old, it is probably more cost effective to simply replace the PC.

Windows 10 update

New Features Coming to Windows 10 Creators Edition

New Features Coming to Windows 10 Creators Edition 715 477 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

If your business is on the Windows 10 Creators platform, you’re in for a treat this spring, as Microsoft rolls out some of the most exciting updates in quite some time. Anybody who works in a creative media environment will be thrilled, but there are some obvious productivity enhancements that any business will find attractive.

Most of the changes revolve around how you’ll interact with Windows, although there are some nice developer and security enhancements that you’re going to want to jump on as well.

Fluent Design: light, transparency, colour, and control

The look of your Windows desktop is going to become more fluid and three-dimensional. You’ll be able to change your Point of View (POV), and your cursor will be illuminated, as will your menus and other screen objects. You’ll also be able to use your pen to draw, notate, scroll and write directly on the screen. Additionally, Windows 10’s new colour filters will allow people who are colour blind to adjust their screens to see contrasting shades. All very esoteric, but seeing it in action is probably a better way to explain it.

Windows People

Windows will prioritize the people who you communicate with the most, allowing you to share and send files to your close contacts with just one click. You can also pin people to the taskbar for easy access, which allows you to collaborate and share from whatever application you are working in.

Find My Pen

A useful feature for the eternally busy but absent-minded; especially if you are prone to leaving your expensive digital pen in restaurants, taxis or boardrooms.

Clipboard Cloud Sync

Save your clipboard items for access on all of your devices. Clipboard Sync stores your clipboard items in the cloud, so you can seamlessly move from device to device. In addition to making life easier for you, it also serves the purpose of saving disk space and improving system performance.

Microsoft Graph and Timeline

Microsoft Graph further helps you facilitate device-to- device roaming, allowing you to return to any point on your timeline and resume what you were working on, say, last week. It’s also searchable – which brings us to the next point.

Pick Up Where You Left Off

And speaking of working on multiple devices, Cortana’s pick-up- where-you- left-off feature allows you to resume working on a project or document on any device. When you switch devices, Cortana will ask you whether you want to resume a task. This feature connects directly with your timeline as well, so whatever you do will show up on the timeline.

Application Throttling

Very helpful to save battery power on your devices or laptop, or to free up CPUs for media-rich applications. Windows will recognize apps like music players and other foreground tasks, and will not throttle them. Settings can be configured for individual apps as well in the System>Settings>Battery file menu.

OneDrive Files On-Demand

No need to sync your local device to OneDrive anymore: all OneDrive files will be visible and available for download with just one click.

Incoming call notifications

If you use an Android smartphone or another device that is connected to your Windows 10 system, you will get a notification on your desktop (or whatever device you are using) if you are receiving a call. This also gives you the option of texting them back or declining the call if you so choose.

More features to look forward to

There are so many new features in the Windows 10 Creator’s fall update to look forward to, it’s hard to list them all. Other improvements include end-to- end security features, and better Linux support. Developer mode will no longer be required in order to run Bash on Ubuntu, as you’ll be able to download it from the Windows Store, along with iTunes, Spotify, SAP Mobile and Autodesk. There is also enhanced support for 3D, VR and combined-reality.

Stay Up-to- Date with New Windows 10 Creator Features

If your company is running a Windows 10 Creators environment, or if you are thinking of migrating your company’s systems to this OS, let Greenlight-ITC help you get the most out of your investment. Call today to set up a consultation, and find out what’s possible.

Windows 10 Review

Windows 10 Review 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

With the recent arrival of Windows 10 many users have been eager to cash in on the free upgrade provided to Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 owners and access the highly-anticipated new features that Microsoft has been promising for over a year. But is the hype to be believed and should you upgrade right away?

Let’s start with the upgrade process. The first indication that you are eligible for the upgrade will be the Windows logo displayed in the system tray which you can use to reserve your in-place upgrade. Microsoft will then alert you in the coming hours or days as to when the upgrade is ready to start. Now this is where you need to be careful. If you’ve just come in to the office planning to kick off the upgrade and start your day, think again. Upgrading your computer’s operating system is not a trivial task and involves a complete system reconfiguration. This is not a task that Windows can simply perform in the background whilst you continue working and you should plan an extra-long lunch break whilst the upgrade proceeds. Ideally your IT department or MSP should have an implementation plan already in place for controlling the upgrades throughout the company to avoid those potentially lengthy periods of unexpected downtime.

Feel free to kick off your upgrade on your PC at home but make sure you’ve backed up any important files, photos, videos etc. on your home computer before you do. In most cases you won’t have an issue as Windows is designed not to modify or remove your personal files during the upgrade process. However, unless you don’t have anything you can’t afford to lose this is certainly one of those times where it pays to adhere to the old adage of better to be safe than sorry!

Microsoft has stated the free upgrade period will extend for 12 months from the official launch date until end of June 2016. Beyond the free period or for anyone who wishes to purchase the standalone retail version it will cost consumers AU$156 as at time of writing.

As with any new product there will be features that some will find useful and others irritating. A few of the nicer additions include:

windows10

  • The ability to run multiple “desktops” alongside each other via the Task View button. Users can emulate a multiple monitor setup without needing to minimise or use Alt-Tab.
  • The Web Note feature in Edge allows users to scribble notes with their mouse stylus-style as an overlay directly on web pages.
  • Internet Explorer has been replaced by the minimalist Microsoft Edge including a single unified address/search bar.
  • The All Apps button lists your apps alphabetically in a user-friendly scrollable column as opposed to the fullscreen, horizontal and clunky method Windows 8 employed.
  • The Start menu’s much-loved Windows 7-style functionality has returned with the option to bolt on Windows-8 style app tiles for quick launching your favourite application

Some of the less attractive features:

  • Once registered, the upgrade process has been known on rare occasion to start automatically without asking for consent or prompting you to postpone.
  • If you did not uninstall any antivirus programs prior to upgrading, you will likely encounter issues with either the upgrade process or post-upgrade with updating AV definitions.
  • The Start Menu’s search function tends to prioritise web results over local app installations negating its usefulness to quickly find and launch an application.
  • The recently installed programs list in the Start Menu is set to only show the single most recently installed application. This can be frustrating when installing a suite of applications that you wish to pin to the My Apps location.
  • Some websites and applets will have problems loading or not load altogether from Microsoft Edge, particularly those that are Java-based.
  • At least one recent update to Windows 10 has been known to cause your computer to enter a restart loop. This was quickly recalled by Microsoft but it may affect some machines that already received it.

Whilst there are a few annoyances with Windows 10, it is certainly a much more polished product and has far fewer failings than Windows 8 and you can’t really ask for much more having had such a recent release and no doubt a myriad of updates and hotfixes on the way which will now come down via the new over-the-air update utility. The operating system is also more user intuitive, a result of Microsoft’s return to listening to user feedback and incorporating fixes or features. With Windows 10 they have created a distinct “we’ve designed this for you” feel in stark contrast to the “get used to the new layout” imposition of Windows 8.

In all, if you are keen to try out the latest instalment from Microsoft sign-up for the free upgrade at home and test it out for yourself. For the business environment, certainly best to contact your IT department or MSP first to avoid any headaches.