In IT Advice, Microsoft

The police were hard hit in the news last week with the revelation that over 20% of Manchester’s police force still use XP following a request via the Freedom of Information Act. But what is all the fuss about? Do operating systems really matter?

Microsoft release updates for their operating systems on a regular basis. These essential updates contain vital security patches that protect your PC from the latest advances in malware and cyber-attacks. Put simply, they keep your systems up to date and safe.
On April 8th 2014, Microsoft announced they were no longer providing support or updates for XP operating systems, and any new and evolved malware would have a much easier job at infiltrating your system if you still run XP. Just to drive this point home, that was over 3 years ago.

In the past year alone, we have seen many cases of malware attacking older, vulnerable operating systems. For instance, just four months ago, the WannaCry outbreak crippled the NHS systems and bought the organisation to a standstill in some parts of the country. The malware spread relatively easily from computer to computer as they didn’t have the latest protection from those all important security updates. In fact, one of the only ways they could stop the virus spreading from one outdated computer to the next was simply to turn them all off until they had the outbreak contained.

If the risks are so high, why are people still using these outdated systems to hold, store and ‘protect’ their business data?

Software Incompatibility

One of the arguments so often heard in defence of sticking to these vulnerable older systems is software incompatibility. In fact, for both the NHS and Manchester police, software incompatibility was likely the driving force behind their reluctance to update to the newer, safer alternative. If businesses are using a software that they know, love and trust then it is definitely less appealing to change the operating system and start from the beginning, and having to learn to navigate and master a new software simultaneously. BUT and it’s a big one, old software carries the same dangers as old operating systems. They may be beloved by you but if the creators have moved on to newer, more advanced technologies there is every chance they are no longer supporting the version you’re using. This leaves your software, and everything you’ve loaded onto it, at risk.

Cost

Combining the cost of new and compatible software alongside the fact you may need to upgrade your computers, weighs understandably heavily on the decision making process. BUT the calculation becomes a lot more simple when you weigh it up against the alternative. Which would cost your business more? Upgrading your equipment, systems and software to make them safe, secure, protected and futureproof, or losing all of your information, years of data and work, and having to restore it all on new systems anyway? It really is a no brainer.

If you are looking for a little more encouragement, here is just a fraction of the benefits you’ll receive for updating to Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest OS:

  1. Cortana – your own personal assistant

The search feature with a personality. Cortana will not only search your system or the internet to find what you are looking for more quickly and accurately than ever. She can also advise you on the weather, traffic updates and set reminders for you. Plus, if you prefer, you don’t even have to type, Cortana is voice activated.

  1. Maximum usability

Microsoft 10 enables you to drag and pin windows to the edges of your PC. If you grab any window, and drag it to the side of the screen, it will ‘fit’ to half the screen, so you can work on multiple things at once.

  1. Microsoft Edge

The new browser designed to help you meet those deadlines and keep your battery fuller for longer. For instance, if you’re streaming HD video, Microsoft Edge will use up to 31% less power than Google Chrome, and up to 44% less than Mozilla Firefox.

Ready to switch? If you are ready to switch to a safer, supported OS then we can help advise you on the best way to do so. If you have software incompatibility concerns, then don’t worry we can talk you through it and make the process as seamless as possible. Get in touch with our team today, call our technical team on 0800 9520652 or email technical@scstechsolutions.co.uk. We’re here to help.

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