Are you still using Windows 7? You must read this…

It’s no surprise that many schools, colleges and other educational establishments, as well as many organisations, are still running Windows 7. But the pressure is increasing and ICT support teams need to be ready to change. Here’s why:

Slow Windows 10 adoption

Put off by Microsoft’s difficult to use Windows 8 upgrade but feeling bruised by the fuss over the withdrawal of support for XP, many organisations avoided the push to upgrade to Windows 10 by sticking with Windows 7. It’s a much more robust and reliable system than its predecessor Vista and most modern software will still run.

In fact, the latest (Feb 2018) worldwide market share figures show that it’s only in the last few months that the number of Windows 10 systems (43.54%) has overtaken that of Windows 7 (41.55%). Now Microsoft and long-term partner Intel have decided that it’s time to put the pressure on recalcitrant organisations.

Windows 7 – why can’t technology for schools and colleges stay on this version?

The next generations of Intel chips will not support Windows 7. So systems with ‘Skylake’ chips or older will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft. In fact, Windows 8.1 will be affected too, so that’s not a viable escape route.

It’s not just Intel chips though. Although Intel is the dominant chip manufacturer, the other two major players in the market – Qualcomm and AMD – have also announced that their next generation of chips will only work on Windows 10.

Do you have to worry now?

If you’re working in a school, academy or other educational establishment and are involved in IT support, you may be thinking that’s a problem that you can worry about in the future. But the effects are already being felt as prices for current chips, that will work on Windows 7 and 8.1, are going up, pushing the prices of compatible systems up.

So, if you have to replace machines and stick with Windows 7, you’ll have to pay more.

Windows 10 as technology for schools and colleges

There are significant benefits to moving toward Windows 10. Students will be able to use the operating system that’s most likely to be dominant by the time they’re in the workforce. Also, the next generation of chips will be smaller, faster and use a lot less power, so there are benefits for the environment too.

Any good IT solutions provider working with schools and colleges in the UK will be able to assess an institution’s current hardware level, identifying the system that could run Windows 10, those that could run it with a few upgrades and those that will need to be replaced. They would also be able to identify software that won’t run on Windows 10 and will need to be replaced or upgraded.

This would give you a firm handle on the costs of working towards Windows 10 and develop an upgrade plan, meaning you won’t be exposed to malicious software in the future.

Windows 7 upgrades – where to find out more

At MSC IT Solutions we understand the demands of a modern education establishment and what is required to stay ahead of the class. We work with a range of primary schools, secondary schools, academies and education establishments that require only the very best ICT solutions to empower staff and students.

If you’d like to find out more about upgrading from Windows 7, get in touch with us to book your free, no obligation network and security audit with us today.