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Say Your Goodbyes to Windows 7

Say Your Goodbyes to Windows 7

Reading time: 4 minutes

Here’s your complete Windows 10 migration guide

It’s true, we’re only a few weeks into 2019 - but you need to mark January 14, 2020 on your calendar right now.
That’s the day Microsoft is officially calling it quits on Windows 7 - and if your business is still running it, it’s also the day your migration to Windows 10 needs to be complete.
Yes, it’s going to take a little time and effort, and yes, it’ll be totally worth it. We gathered a few tips from Ross Sorensen, HP Distinguished Technologist and Windows 10 Services Lead, on why this is the most important Windows migration in years - and how to get started.

Security, security, and did we mention security?

Windows last End of Service deadline was back in 2014, when Windows XP was put to rest. As IT pros recall, there were a significant number of holdouts - which resulted in a worldwide ransomware outbreak that Microsoft had to patch in 2017. Lesson learned. Sorensen says:

Security needs are similar between an SMB and an enterprise organization. The difference is the amount of resources that each can apply towards the management of the security.

The security suite that comes with Windows 10 provides defenses against these attacks right out of the box, which is particularly handy for small- and medium-sized businesses.
And don’t underestimate the impact that the right hardware can have. HP’s Elite PCs have unique endpoint security powers that work in lockstep with Windows 10:
  • HP Sure Start Gen 4: This self-healing BIOS works with Windows Defender System Guard to ensure you start with a genuine HP BIOS every time.
  • HP Sure Run: This hardware-enforced protection safeguards Windows Defender Antivirus, which defends against advanced attacks.
  • HP Sure Recover: This offers secure, automated reimaging and recovers a PC for set up via Windows AutoPilot.
On the biometric security front, HP Elite PCs are designed to work with Windows Hello, with optional IR cameras for facial recognition and hardened fingerprint sensors.
"Another benefit to this is that users don’t need to constantly change their passwords since their face is the authentication key,” Sorensen says. “If you think about how many calls a user makes to the help desk every year, and that 30 percent of those calls are for password resets, it adds up.”

It’s cost-effective in the long run.

Yes, any migration has some up-front costs - but if you stick with Windows 7 past its end of service date you’ll be looking at some serious problems down the road.
“You can extend support until 2023, but in the past, this has cost anywhere between $50 and $200 per device,” Sorensen says. Then there’s all the third-party application developers who’ll be discontinuing Windows 7 support (if they haven’t already).
Worried about the Windows 10 compatibility of your own business’s apps? “That’s one of the main blockers for businesses,” Sorensen says. “Microsoft has put a lot of thought into this and recently released the App Health Analyzer tool, which can reduce testing costs.”

A good migration plan is key.

“Planning is the one part of the project that usually gets the least amount of attention,” Sorensen says. “But developing a strategy for how to deploy Windows 10 to all the users without impacting productivity is essential.”
Here are a few of his tips:
  • Get started on testing managed applications. Most organizations put applications into four buckets: managed, supported, unsupported, and unwanted applications. Test your managed applications first, since these are critical to your business.
  • Decide if you’ll be completely wiping the existing hardware and putting on a new operating system or just doing a simple upgrade. Both have benefits and drawbacks; work through these and include support as part of your decision.
  • The other critical part of a Windows 10 upgrade or deployment is testing. “At HP, we do a lot with Proof of Concept labs and pilot the approach with a select group of users to ensure that the process is correct,” Sorensen says. “This is where all the changes and tweaks occur to make sure that the deployment is successful.”

You don’t have to go at it alone.

HP’s Windows 10 Migration Suite can help you with every step of your migration.
First, an HP Technical Consultant will develop a plan tailored to your business needs; next, HP experts will design, build, test, and finish your update before next January. They’ll also make sure your company’s apps are Windows 10 compatible. You’ll be able to erase that red circle on your 2020 calendar and get back to business.

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