The 29th of July marks the date when Windows 10 will no longer be a free upgrade, are you prepared?
In the world of Apple, customers are upgrading to the latest operating system in quick succession following new releases, however Microsoft have always struggled.
This is the first time in the history of Windows that Microsoft have offered a free upgrade to their latest operating system, and it’s main reason is to move people from their older legacy operating systems of Windows 7 and Windows 8. With Microsoft reporting that Windows 10 is now on 300 Million active devices, they are trying to encourage as many users as possible to upgrade.
Compare this to a useful tool on Go Squared, you can see for yourself that, based on their analytics, Windows 10 users equates for currently only 25% of total Windows traffic on the internet today. That’s a whole lot of users that are still on Windows 7 (57%) and Windows 8 (13%) with a small percentage of Windows XP still out there.
Whilst Windows XP was always the most solid and reliable operating system out there, it has taken Microsoft many, many years to regain trust of it’s user base after a number of failed product launches (remember Vista?) and with Windows 8 not being too popular due to the major UI changes focused around touch devices - which most standard business users won’t have whilst sat at their desktop PC.
Windows 7 has been the Operating System of choice for many years, and rightly so. It’s additional features, whilst keeping to the basics of what a business grade desktop Operating System should be, make it the choice for many businesses.
That said, we need to keep in mind that software and operating systems are constantly evolving, and it’s best to keep up to date as possible.
There are of course many reasons preventing some businesses from upgrading.
Application compatibility is usually the biggest reason, since this can add some severe complications and additional costs to any upgrade of the desktop operating system. Businesses out there are still running their line of business applications that were designed in pre-Windows XP days and still need them to work.
Of course, what you should be doing is ensuring your critical applications are always supported by the manufacturer, and that you are also keeping up to date with the latest releases of these applications.
For those who aren’t, upgrading those applications can be a costly exercise which quickly out-shadows the saving for upgrading to Windows 10 for free today.
However, those users are only delaying the inevitable. With only a few years left before even Windows 7 becomes end of Life, you will risk running an out of date and unsupported operating system. Doing this will leave you unprotected against flaws in the operating system, and with Microsoft no longer providing hot fixes and patches there is nothing you can do to stop attackers exploiting those flaws.
Once the 29th of July has passed, upgrading to Windows 10 will require purchasing upgrade or full licenses.
You could of course upgrade to Windows 10 now to get the free license, then downgrade back to Windows 7 - however it’s potentially a lot of work and may cost you more in engineering time to perform the upgrade than you would save in Windows license costs once past the 29th of July date.
Of course, some planning will be required to perform the upgrade, and we recommend that if you haven’t already - start testing your business critical applications on Windows 10 to ensure compatibility when the times comes for an upgrade.