Have you wondered how Microsoft’s planned changes to Windows 7 will affect your business yet? If not, it is time you did because Microsoft will be introducing charges for support to continue using the Windows 7 operating system from July 2019. Microsoft has revealed in recent weeks that its extended support could end in July of this year if they users do not install new patches or security upgrades by April, that is, next month.
Microsoft had already announced that it will be ending all support for the Windows 7 operating system from January 2020. Small business owners really need to be aware of these looming deadlines as failure to install the critical updates next month will mean they will be left on their own in July of this year. So here is what you must do, if you use Windows 7 as your operating system in your business and plan on doing so up until next year.
The changes coming in March signal a security upgrade for Windows 7, and this means that Windows updates will only use the SHA-2 hash algorithm to sign and authenticate changes (insuring they have originated directly from Microsoft without interference).
What exactly are these updates:
Currently, OS updates are double-signed using both SHA-1 and SHA-2 algorithms, however, as the first algorithm has some weaknesses, it plans to discontinue it over time and moving entirely, to the second algorithm, SHA-2 after 2020.
The March updates set the cornerstone for this, but the actual switch to SHA-2 won’t take place until July this year. So it is important that businesses get their SHA-2 support in place and carry out the necessary patch updates in March, i.e this month. If you haven’t got SHA-2 support in place by April 2019, then you won’t get any more windows updates which will slow your system down, cause crashes and potentially data loss which would be catastrophic to any business.
As Microsoft has noted, its clients who are still running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1/SP2 must carry out a patch in SHA-2 code signing before July 16th 2019.
Target date for security updates:
You to make sure you don’t miss the different individual security updates taking place in April and introduce the SHA-2 code support. Microsoft has said that it expects March 12th to be the date for the release of SHA-2 Code on Windows 7..
Everything should happen automatically, if you ensure these updates are enabled to take place in April and July.
What happens if you wish to continue using Windows 7 after January 2020 when support is officially being stopped by Microsoft:
It is going to cost you. A lot more than you would pay to use Windows 10. Updates from Microsoft to ensure that Windows 7 operated devices run effectively will be available for a time, but it will be more expensive that upgrading to Windows 10. The cost will also rise over years. So, for support for Windows Enterprise users using Windows 7 from January 2019-January 2021 will cost around €25 per device.
It is worth considering a switch to Windows 10 for this reasons of cost saving and effectiveness. The best laptops this year only operate a Windows 10 system as well. So, if you want to use the best hardware on the market that keeps your business to the forefront of responsiveness, we recommend that you consider using Windows 10 in the long run.
We will be posting in the near future on Windows 10 and how to upgrade to it, the benefits of the switch and how it can help your business. Stay tuned for more updates on Windows 7 and how to manage the transition and upgrading to Windows 10.
Technology improves efficiency, automates tasks and enables remote working. Office technology including Laptops and PCs have become very much integrated with day to day work life. Without PCs and laptops, we would simply struggle with daily tasks. To maintain office productivity and efficiency we recommend you upgrade your PC’s and Laptops every 4 years as computers 4+ years will become less productive and struggle with technical advancements.
These are the tell-tale signs when you know its time to upgrade
If you are frequently seeing the “blue screen of death” this is a sign all is not well with your computer.
Unable to upgrade hardware
This can be a real issue if and there are no available or no compatible slots to upgrade a graphics, network or sound cards on your desktop. The same for laptops normally adding a bit more RAM is an easy way of prolonging a PC’s lifespan however some of the older laptops can’t facilitate additional memory or SSD upgrades. Newer laptops are supplied with USB 3.0, Thunderbolt and HDMI connections with are replacing VGA and USB 2.0 connections.
Older PCs and Laptops may struggle with security as they may not be running on the latest operating system. This could leave your office open to security issues as these devices which aren’t running on the most current & strongest security and could prove to be the weak link in your organisation.
Noisy Fans and Overheating
If you notice your devices are running noisy and overheating this may be due to your CPU working harder and causing components to overheat. The heat can cause damage to internal components.
Slow when stating up and shutting down
If your PC or laptop is taking a lengthy time to start up or shut down, this could be a sign your running out of space on your computer hard drive.
Conflicting hardware and software applications, your computer is struggling to keep up with the latest applications as a result your applications will run slow. Updating software will of course take up more space and require more system resources and could actually slow down your system.
Running Multiple Applications
Your PC or Laptop can’t cope with running multiple applications, your unable to quickly jump between applications and your system is constantly crashing.
Your requirements have changed
You perhaps require a more portable / mobile Solution for business trips.
New devices are much lighter for example Microsoft Surface Pro & Go options, and some other manufacturers offer ultra-lightweight options.
Limited Battery Life
Order Laptops batteries require more frequent charging in comparison to current laptops which achieve up to and exceeding five hours of standard usage.
Not just ready to upgrade? Check out our quick fixes!
If you not ready to invest you could also consider some quick fixes to improve the quality of your day to day work. We would recommend you clear down any large files or hardware you no longer require to improve efficiency. Look at upgrading your hard drive by replacing your HDD for the much faster SSD (solid state drive) your data is simply cloned to the new drive. Also adding more memory/ RAM should help. You could consider a larger PC monitor, older monitors tend to be 19″ or 21” we supply 24″ as a standard size larger monitors enhances workflow.