After the disaster that was also known as Windows Vista, Microsoft overhauled its operating systems and created the foundation of a new era in Windows history. The first product was Windows 7, and it was released to the public on October 22, 2009. Unlike Windows Vista which was released three years prior, Microsoft stuck to the basics while developing for Windows 7. As a result, we were delivered an OS that had fewer compatibility issues, multi-touch support, redesigned Windows shell and a new networking system. Most importantly, the program was fast and responsive. Windows 7 received the critical acclaim that Vista missed in its run. It was regarded as the “big improvement” in the Windows platform.
It has been close to 10 years since the release of the Windows 7 platform and in that same year, Apple gave us the iPhone 3GS and Google shipped Android 2.0. Let that sink in for a minute. Furthermore, Microsoft has decided to retire its beloved operating system so that it can focus on supporting newer technologies and creating great experiences. While you may have received notifications that support is going to end soon, it will be retired entirely on January 14, 2020 and technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your computer will no longer be available. You can technically still continue to use your computer with Windows 7 without continued software and security updates, but it will be at a greater risk for viruses and malware. We know change can be difficult but I strongly recommend that you move to the latest Windows 10 as soon as possible to avoid a situation where you need service or support for a product that is no longer available.
It’s no secret that Windows 8, to put it kindly, was not well-received by industry experts, businesses and the average user. One could reasonably hypothesize that many people have remained loyal to Windows 7 because they continue to be haunted by the Windows 8 nightmare. Microsoft seems to have learned its lesson. Windows 10 much more closely resembles Windows 7 than Windows 8 in terms of the user experience. In fact, some critics have suggested that Microsoft skipped a version 9 to put as much distance as possible between Windows 8 and 10. Windows 10 is not only more secure, but it also boots faster and delivers faster performance.
Upgrading to a new operating system is a bit more complicated than updating most software. Businesses will need to review licensing agreements and train employees. Most importantly, you will need to test legacy business applications for compatibility. You may need to invest in new computers with Windows 10 pre-installed, and it’s a good idea to customize settings to align with business goals and processes. Developing a migration path involves taking stock of your current computing habits and answering questions such as:
- What purposes do I primarily use my computer for?
- What applications do I run most frequently?
- What applications are critical in my environment?
- Which of my most used applications are available for other operating systems?
- When is the last time my essential user data has been backed up?
Needless to say, shifting from Windows 7 to Windows 10 can’t happen with tap of a button or a flip of a switch. Careful planning is required, and that takes time. Without a strategic plan, you risk frustrating your team and sapping productivity.
Willie E. Brake is a Computer Expert at All About Technology, a Certified Minority Business Enterprise and Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, located at 6450 Michigan Avenue in Detroit, Michigan.