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Windows 7 Support Ends on January 14th, 2020: Are You Ready?

When Microsoft rolled out Windows 7 on Oct. 22, 2009, it committed to providing 10 years of product support. Now, as it hits that 10-year mark, users of Windows 7 need to focus on upgrading their software to newer products that will have the ongoing support and technical assistance they need.

If you’re among the many businesses and individuals who still rely on Windows 7, this is the time to start thinking about moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Although Microsoft will continue providing support until Jan. 14, 2020, there’s no reason to wait until the last minute and risk being on an outdated operating system in case you need support.

The recent update to Windows 7 comes with a reminder for you to upgrade, so it’s likely that you’re already aware of the need to make the change. If you haven’t made a plan to switch to Windows 10, let’s look at why it’s essential for you to upgrade, how it will benefit you and what to expect from Windows 10. No matter how attached you might be to Windows 7, Windows 10 has some great features that makes it a huge improvement from its predecessors. Once you make the upgrade, you’re going to wonder what took you so long.

The Danger of Living in the Past

No matter how strong you think your relationship is with Windows 7, it’s definitely time to break up. With support disappearing, continuing to use it could expose your company to costly security breaches and harmful viruses. Windows 7 won’t be given any patches to protect it from new viruses or security threats, which means all of your data could be put at risk.

While Windows 7 won’t stop working as of Jan. 14, 2020, it won’t have the same kind of security you enjoy now. And, for hackers or other malicious users, the end of that security could seem like a big incentive to start targeting Windows 7 users.

In short, it’s just not worth the risk to put your sensitive data in danger.

Improve Your Security with Windows 10

Regardless of the size of your business, one common need we all have is sufficient security. Windows 10 delivers in the security department, and is designed for a world where ransomware, spyware, phishing attacks and more pose a daily threat. It has several features that can be enabled to enhance security and provide better protection.

For example, the Defender Credential Guard isolates certain credentialing information and only allows that information to be accessed by privileged system software. With this feature, you’ll improve protection against more advanced, persistent threats.

The Defender SmartScreen is designed to block users from sites that have been identified as having phishing or malware software, which can keep them from unknowingly downloading malicious files or being taken advantage of by scam sites and fake advertising.

The Defender Application Guard uses whitelisting to allow you to designate which sites can be browsed freely; if the site isn’t on the “trusted” list, the Application Guard can open it in an isolated environment, which will prevent it from accessing any memory, local storage, applications or corporate networks that might be targeted by an attacker.

This is just a short list of the security features included in Windows 10, and they can be selected according to your specific needs and concerns. While security is a top concern for any computer user, it’s not the only thing that businesses are looking for in a program. Here are four more reasons to love Windows 10.

Windows 10’s Need for Speed

If you’re used to booting up with Windows 7, you might want to strap on a racing helmet the first time you fire up Windows 10. By scaling back the unnecessary start-up processes and bloatware, Windows 10 offers a speedier start experience.

Return of a Popular Portal

When Windows first introduced its tile-based start screen with Windows 8, there was plenty of moaning and groaning from the tech community. But it turns out, that screen pretty much won us over, so Microsoft has included it in Windows 10.

This time around, Windows opens with a start button, then opens to the tile functionality. Users can easily customize the start menu to fit their usage and needs; from changing the size of the tiles to designating what folders they see to turning off certain tiles, there are an impressive number of ways to make it more personal — and more usable.

Alexa Who? Make Friends With Cortana

As Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana is always available, whether you need her to remind you of your wedding anniversary (or an important meeting), take notes for you or give you the current weather forecast. Her Notebook feature can keep track of interests for users, whether that means providing traffic conditions or sports scores. If you’re using OneNote, you can use the command “Show me my notes” to find certain notes.

Cortana can be synced with your Google calendar, Outlook or the built-in Calendar app, and can be used both with typing and with voice commands.

Ready, Set … Action

Windows 10 takes a cue from smartphone functionalities to provide notifications for such things as breaking news, messages and updates. It’s similar to the Mac OS X Notification Center and to ensure you don’t miss a thing, messages won’t disappear until you specifically choose to dismiss them.

Are You Ready for Windows 10?

If you’re working with older equipment, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve upgraded your computers to prepare for the new software. You’ll need a minimum processor speed of 1 GHz and 1GB of RAM for a 32-bit machine or 2 GB for a 64-bit.

If you don’t have the right equipment, you won’t be able to operate Windows 10, but avoid the temptation to invest in Windows 8, even if it’s compatible with your equipment. Windows 8 has already reached the end of Mainstream Support and will lose Extended Support on Jan. 10, 2023. So you’re better off investing now in better equipment that can manage Windows 10 rather than just delaying the inevitable.

Good possible computers to consider are the Dell Optiplex 3060, the HP ProBook 455 G5 laptop and the HP EliteBook x360 1020, all of which are equipped with the memory and processing speed to handle Windows 10.

If you’re looking for the right equipment to handle your Windows 10 upgrade, contact Aventis Systems at 1-855-AVENTIS or www.aventissystems.com and let us help you find the system that’s right for you.

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