So as a business owner you probably know all about Windows 7’s fast-approaching “end of life” status, which happens on the 14th of January, 2020, and you’re thinking you’d like to upgrade your Windows 7 systems to Windows 10.

For anyone asking themselves ‘How do I do that?’, we’ve put this guide together to help you understand your options.

In-place upgrades

Your first option is upgrading the PCs inside your organisation with Microsoft’s “In-Place Upgrade” offer. Basically you’ll install Windows 10 over existing Windows 7 installations, preserving both installed applications and user data, all without upgrading the underlying hardware.

You’ll need a valid Windows 10 key for each upgrade, which you can source from your IT supplier, and a copy of Windows 10 either on a DVD or a bootable USB.

Creating Windows 10 media is easy: simply download the Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft website and follow the instructions. The process will create a bootable Windows 10 DVD or USB drive, which you can use for the upgrade. Create the media, ensure the PC is set to boot from whichever media type you created, reboot the PC, and follow the instructions.

Theoretically, upgrading like this is the fastest and easiest way to get Windows 10 on your devices, but it can be complicated if any of your Windows 7 software doesn’t work with Windows 10.  The best advice here is to uninstall any legacy software before attempting the in-place upgrade and reinstall it once the Windows 10 upgrade is complete.

That said, Microsoft says Windows 10 is compatible with 99 percent of all legacy software, so you might be okay even if you leave that software installed during the upgrade.

Microsoft 365

The other option is to sign up for Microsoft 365, Microsoft’s latest subscription offering that gives businesses access to both Office 365 and Windows 10 for a monthly subscription.

You’ll pay a small amount per month, per user inside your organisation that needs Windows and Office, and chalk it up to an operational expense rather than a capital expenditure.

IT will need to oversee the upgrade process, but it can be done across the organisation easily and quickly thanks to the management tools Microsoft supplies with the package.

This is the most cost-effective method of upgrading to Windows 10 as it doesn’t require a big capital outlay for licenses, and the dashboards it gives you access to make deployment incredibly easy.

Windows 10’s most attractive features

In addition to continued support and updates well beyond the 14th of January, 2020, Windows 10 will bring increased performance and efficiency to your organisation.

That’s because it runs faster than Windows 7 did on your existing hardware, so it boots quicker, gets to the desktop faster, and is also easier to navigate thanks to the overhauled and streamlined interface.

On top of that you get added security via Windows Defender, secure and encrypted storage space via BitLocker (Windows 10 Pro only), and tight integration with Microsoft’s many cloud services.

Talk to your IT provider

If you’re still unsure of where to begin on your journey to Windows 10, the best thing you could do is talk to your IT service provider.

They have years of expertise on which to base sound upgrade advice, and they can help you avoid any upgrade-related hurdles you might have faced had you attempted to go the upgrade process alone.

Buy New

Alternatively, it could also be time to simply buy new PCs for your organisation. These will come with Windows 10 pre-installed and preconfigured, and could be the least complicated (if a bit expensive) way to avoid the pitfalls of Windows 7’s impending End of Life status.

For more information on Windows 10 and Windows 7’s End of Life, Microsoft has a webpage packed with information which you can view here. If you are in need of any assistance in this regard, contact Pinnacle today.

[Image – Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash]
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