It should (hopefully) come as no surprise now that support for Windows 7 ends 14th January 2020. Windows 7 certainly was and still is a very popular version of Windows, both for businesses and home users alike. As of March this year, Windows 7 still had a market share of 38.41% – admittedly sitting behind Windows 10 at 40%. Undoubtedly, many have been so happy with the product they have seen no reason to upgrade – but with the clock ticking down to desupport, this presents a very compelling reason to upgrade, which we’ll go into shortly.
Why was Windows 7 so popular?
Windows 7 was sandwiched between two of Microsoft’s least favourable operating systems – Vista and Windows 8. Vista was met with criticism largely due to its highly graphical “Aero Glass” interface – which older hardware didn’t perform well with. Windows 7 was a return to the more traditional format that made Windows XP so popular. Windows 8 bought with it another significant change to the interface – leading with tiles rather than the traditional start menu. For that reason, many organisations avoided upgrading to Windows 8 and stuck with Windows 7. This meant by the time Windows 10 rolled around, the operating system was well bedded in, and the upgrade seemed like an insurmountable task as they’d amassed more and more hardware running Windows 7.
Why upgrade to Windows 10?
As we’ve already mentioned, with extended support ending for Windows 7 as of 14th January 2020, this presents a very compelling reason for you to upgrade to the latest version. Windows 7 will not be supported, and no more security patches will be released for it. This means that if you are still running it you could be exposed to all manner of security threats. Putting this aside, as the desupport date comes and goes, you’ll find that less of your hardware and software is compatible with Windows 7, and that standardisation could be a real problem going into the future when you need amass more hardware. There are gains to be had from an efficiency level too – a study showed that businesses that were using Windows 10 saw an uplift of 25% in productivity.
Can I upgrade my existing devices to Windows 10?
Yes, but over time this might actually become a false economy. Older devices are less likely to run Windows 10 as efficiently, and even though updating them now protects against security threats and helps with software compatibility into the future, the hardware will be deteriorating behind the scenes. As PC hardware ages it can become more and more costly to maintain, not to mention not benefitting from the latest in processor and memory technology. Upgrading your devices to ones that come ready-made with the latest version of Windows and latest processors and memory that will help you be more efficient could be more cost-effective in the long run.
I can’t afford to buy new tech – what are my options?
Upgrading your whole suite to Windows 10 devices outright can be costly – particularly if you’ve been building your IT estate up over time and adding to it as and when. The options become more flexible and more feasible though if you look beyond purchasing your devices outright. Finance options such as leasing can help you upgrade to the latest devices now, often at less than the cost of buying outright, without the upfront investment. If you opt for leasing you also get the opportunity to upgrade on a shorter cycle – you could be looking at every 2 or 3 years rather than every 5 or more. For certain leasing agreements, payments are also off-balance sheet, so deprecation of your assets is kept off your books and is therefore tax deductible.
Upgrade to Windows 10 now
Freedom Tech have created a flexible leasing option which specifically enables small businesses to upgrade tech on a budget. FlexIT for SMBs gives you access to the latest technology now, at up to 20% off the retail value, which you pay for over 3 years in manageable monthly instalments. We are members of the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), as well as being wholly owned by CSI Leasing, one of the world’s largest equipment leasing companies, so you get peace of mind that you’re in safe hands. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch.