As you may already be aware, Windows 7 support from Microsoft will end on 14th January 2020. This isn’t something to fear, but what does this really mean?
The good news is Windows 7 will continue to function normally after this date and you will still be able to activate new installations. The bad news is Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support. Therefore, as time progresses Windows 7 will become increasingly vulnerable to security risks.
In addition, Windows 7 is already only supported on Intel 6th generation (Skylake) processors and older. Many vendors are starting to see shortages of 6th gen processors so sourcing equipment still compatible with Windows 7 will become increasingly difficult. If you require Windows 7 compatible hardware, then our advice is to contact your suppliers as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
At Cloud21 we still have some machines running Windows 7 but our migration to Windows 10 is already underway having run many pilots. We’re confident we’ll make the 2020 target date, but this has taken considerable planning and preparation. We also took this as an opportunity to adopt a cloud first approach, however that’s a topic for another time.
As much as we’d like to share our internal plan for you to use, most of it may not be relevant as there isn’t a one size fits all approach. Instead, we thought it best to outline the steps we have been through to formulate our migration plan. Please take from this what is relevant to you and your organisation and we hope it’s of some help.
In a simplistic overview, you will need to:
- assess the compatibility of existing hardware with Windows 10
- assess the compatibility of existing software with Windows 10
- purchase new/upgrade existing hardware (if required)
- purchase updated/replacement software (if required)
- ensure sufficient Windows 10 licenses
- prepare internal infrastructure (e.g. deployment and management tools)
- test and decide an upgrade path (in-place or wipe-and-load)
- provide end user training
- trial Windows 10 with a small user group and troubleshoot
- commence phased roll out of Windows 10 to a wider user base
We appreciate that’s a lot to achieve and dependant on the size of your organisation; doing so by the 14th January 2020 may not be feasible. Fortunately, as previously mentioned, Windows 7 will not stop working on this date. What this list has hopefully highlighted is that migrating to Windows 10 can be a complex task and your preparations should be started sooner rather than later.
With all this information in mind, what do we suggest? It’s time to stop putting off that migration to Windows 10. At the time of writing there is just over 15 months until Windows 7 reaches end of life, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to start planning.
If you need assistance with any aspects of your Windows 10 migration, then get in touch and see what Cloud21 can do to help your organisation.