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Support for Windows 10 Is Ending: Here’s Why It Matters

Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will eventually stop being supported, meaning that general updates and security fixes will no longer be rolled out on business devices that still use this Operating System (OS). While an exact date is yet to be confirmed, Microsoft has said that support will be ending in 2025. So do not fret, there is time to upgrade and make the switch.  

This blog will walk you through everything you need to know about the end-of-life support for Windows 10, why it matters and the next steps you can take.  

 

Why Businesses Are Preparing to Move to Windows 11 

Like other Microsoft predecessors such as Vista and Windows 7, Windows 10 will eventually be consigned to Microsoft’s graveyard of supported Operating Systems. After the support cut-off date in 2025, devices still using Microsoft 10 will still work as normal, but there are important implications for anyone tempted to stick with this OS.  

Microsoft will no longer release general updates and security fixes to devices using Microsoft 10, meaning that they will become more vulnerable, unreliable and prone to performance issues as time goes on. With this being public knowledge, cyber criminals will no doubt be looking to exploit any vulnerabilities that they can in the future. There are a few other reasons to consider upgrading which will become more important as time goes by:  

  • Software and hardware incompatibilities: It’s not just Microsoft that will move on from supporting Windows 10, other providers of software and hardware will too, increasing compatibility issues with this operating system and devices that use it.  
  • Lower performance: Performance-upgrades will also stop being provided for Windows 10, which will subtly lower the operational performance of Windows 10 devices over time.  
  • Less reliable: As Windows 10 ages in relation to hardware and software on the market and becomes more vulnerable, it will also become more prone to crashes and instability. 

 

Windows 11 and its New Features 

Windows 11 was released 2 years ago and offers several new features, design changes and greater performance compared to its predecessor. Its new design, features a sleeker Mac-like appearance on its menus, it is integrated with Microsoft’s cloud solutions, and in particular Microsoft Teams, which can be accessed via the task bar.  

There are other changes such as improved widgets and snap-layouts to make multi-tasking easier and more organised, as well as new features that streamline the Azure Virtual Desktops experience for organizations that use this technology. Windows 11 is also designed to offer faster performance, offering faster boot times and more efficient usage of system resources.  

 

Moving to Windows 11 

For current Windows 10 users, Windows 11 is available as a free upgrade, however its worth considering the requirements of Windows 11 and checking compatibility beforehand.  

For most devices this shouldn’t be an issue. However, it’s better to take a safe than sorry approach. There may be certain devices that do not currently meet requirements such as Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 requirements, which may be resolved by manually enabling it on the device.  

Devices that are not able to support Windows 11 will either need to be upgraded or most likely replaced. Keeping devices that can only support Windows 10 will present wider security risks to the networks that they connect with, and while they will work on the face of it, security vulnerabilities will be lurking in the background.  

One workaround is that it is likely that Microsoft will also continue to offer Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for Windows 10, just as it does with Windows 7. This can offer a continued lifeline of security support for those devices, for a price.  

 

When will Windows 11 Support End? 

There is no confirmed date for the end of Windows 11, but this is very likely to not be any time soon.  Microsoft has yet to announce a new operating system to succeed Windows 11, but if we go by the 10-year lifespan of Windows 10, then we can assume that Windows 11 will still be actively supported until around 2031. 

 

Preparing Your Organization for the Transition 

Transitioning to Windows 11 may seem like a simple enough process on the surface, but there are some other key considerations based on the size, complexity and setup of your organization, including factors such as whether you operate an on-premises or cloud hosting solution.  

There are some key points to consider to ensure a more seamless upgrade:  

  • Streamline the rollout using cloud configuration tools: It is possible to ensure the rollout is applied systematically using Microsoft cloud configuration services such as Intune, Windows Autopilot and Configuration Manager. 
  • Prepare Your Team: This would ideally not only notify them of the rollout and the actions that they need to take, but also help them to take advantage of Windows 11’s new features in their day-to-day work.  
  • Update your Helpdesk Documentation: Windows 11 will have a different visual layout compared to Windows 10, so if your organization offers step-by-step guides, it will be important to update the processes, terminology and images in them appropriately.  
  • Validate your IT environment with Windows 11: You can check that your software, hardware and deployment processes are ready for Windows 11 by joining their free Insider Program 
  • Conduct a Phased Rollout: By phasing the rollout between different user groups, the upgrade can be a smoother and more incremental process that minimises risks and identifies opportunities.  

 

Get Prepared for the end of Support for Windows 10 

The key takeaway in this piece is that it is essential for continued efficiency and security to prepare for the end of Microsoft’s support for Windows 10. By maintaining the status quo, company devices will become more vulnerable, putting the wider systems and networks that they connect within jeopardy. There are also positive benefits and opportunities to switching to Windows 11 that will not only preserve security but also enhance efficiency, with a host of new features on offer as well as improved performance. If you need advice on making the switch and planning ahead, get in touch with us today and we’ll be glad to assist you.  

 

Ensuring value from your IT 

Using the tools at your disposal within and beyond your IT environment can drive enhanced value in your business. We can ensure that you implement the right tools, use them correctly, and plan for the future with those tools as important assets for the sustained success of your organisation. Our success can be attributed to one thing: TRUST. Ever since our very first year in business our clients have been happy to recommend us to other businesses, and we have grown steadily as a result of this. We can help you get the best from your IT in the most secure way possible, providing your business with a stable platform for growth. Don’t hesitate – contact us now!