Microsoft has publicly announced Jan. 14, 2020, as the end date for extended support, also known as End of Life (EOL), for the Windows 7 operating system. As of this date, Microsoft will no longer produce any patches or updates to address known or otherwise newly discovered issues for the Windows 7 platform. This potentially exposes users of devices with the Windows 7 operating system to vulnerabilities that could potentially be exploited by threat actors – exploits, bugs, viruses and ransomware.
UPGRADE VS. REPLACEMENT With Windows 7 End of Life, your organization will need to determine whether upgrading devices is sufficient or replacement is necessary.
To help you make this choice, here is a checklist to consider when looking to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10 successfully.
Check hardware details. Identify devices that will meet the minimum hardware specifications necessary for a desirable and productive level of performance. The minimum hardware recommendations from Microsoft are often insufficient at being productive in the long term, resulting in device hardware being replaced sooner than expected.
These are Microsoft’s basic requirements for installing Windows 10 on a PC.
Confirm licensing compliance. The audit of devices and applications is the ideal time to verify your business has sufficient licenses for Windows 10. In some cases, newer Windows 7 devices may already have a license for an upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft has become vigilant in pursuing companies out of compliance with licensing. We will help to ensure your devices are properly licensed for use.
Decide whether to replace the device, perform a clean install or an in-place upgrade on the current device. There are several factors to bear in mind when considering an “in-place” migration.
Are there any 32-bit operating systems needing to become 64-bit? If so, does the hardware architecture support it, and will it need additional or improved/ upgraded resource (e.g. more RAM)?
Are there any Professional edition devices upgrading to Enterprise, or Enterprise to Enterprise?
Are there any Home edition devices used in the business?
Perform a pilot deployment. Deploying to a small test group first will pay dividends over the duration of the project.
If you find that a majority of your devices have aged out and do not meet minimum specifications for an upgrade, here are our recommendations for replacement of devices:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
Hard drive space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 32 GB for 64-bit OS
Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Verify application compatibility. Determine which applications you have installed on your current Windows 7 and check they will be compatible with the new Windows operating system. QCBN
By Theo Soumilas