August 2023 Tips - The Transition to Windows 11
Are you running an outdated Operating System (OS)?
It might seem like yesterday, but Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in 2014 and Windows 7 in 2020. Did you realize that Windows 8.1 support ended on Jan. 10th, 2023, with support for Windows Server 2012/R2 set to end on Oct. 10th, 2023? It may seem harmless, but running an outdated operating system can have serious consequences.
Why is a Supported OS Important?
Upgrading an end-of-life Microsoft operating system is of paramount importance due to several critical reasons:
End-of-life systems no longer receive security updates and patches, leaving them vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks. Hackers often exploit these unpatched vulnerabilities, putting sensitive data, personal information, and entire systems at risk.
Older operating systems become incompatible with new software, applications, and hardware as technology advances, hindering productivity and limiting access to innovative tools. Upgrading ensures compatibility with the latest applications, optimizing performance and enabling users to take full advantage of technological advancements.
Compliance with industry standards and regulations (NLETS, JNET, etc.) often mandates the use of supported operating systems, and failing to comply can result in legal or financial consequences.
Ultimately, upgrading an end-of-life operating system safeguards against security breaches, enhances operational efficiency, and ensures alignment with industry standards, collectively contributing to a more secure, efficient, and future-ready computing environment.
Windows 10 End-of-Life (EOL)?
Some of the latest statistics show that Windows 10 holds just over 70% of the Windows Version market share, with Windows 11 coming in a distant second at around 18%.
Why is that statistic so important? Microsoft has already announced the EOL date of Oct. 14th, 2025, for Windows 10. Many of you may remember the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10. In most cases, there was a clear upgrade path, which often didn’t require new hardware. That may not be the case when it comes to Windows 11.
To run Windows 11, your PC needs a compatible 64-bit processor, UFEI, Secure Boot capabilities, a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) version 2.0 chip, and a graphics card compatible with DirectX 12 or later. While some of those requirements may seem like a foreign language, most PCs manufactured in the last 3-4 years should meet or exceed the specifications. However, if you have some older (or low-powered) PCs, it’s worth exploring Microsoft’s full version of requirements and the “PC Health Check app.” (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications)
Whether your agency is just starting its yearly budgeting process or you’re in the middle of your fiscal year, it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. October of 2025 may only be one budget cycle away!