Is it time to switch to Windows 10?
Is your school still operating on Windows 7 and below (XP, Vista, etc)? With Microsoft ending extended support for Windows 7 in January 2020, your school has until 14th January 2020 to ensure it has switched to Windows 10. Now, you’re probably thinking 2 years is plenty of time to switch over, but if summer is the only time you can make it, and with experts warning that complete migration and training staff to use the operating system (OP) can take up to 18 months, technically you only get two chances! If you’re wondering why you should make that switch and what the implications will be if you don’t, then keep reading…
Can you use both Windows 7 and Windows 10 together?
Schools that run on Windows 7 entirely will need to ensure they make the switch to Windows 10 either this summer or next summer. This will ensure all systems are running correctly and that all devices are switched successfully. You may be wondering if you can have some devices running on 10 and some on 7. The answer to that is maybe. While it is absolutely possible, it is not recommended as it can cause issues on your school network and the additional configuration that is involved will most likely incur a cost.
Which is more cost efficient?
You’d probably expect us to say that staying with Windows 7 is cheaper, after all, you’re sticking with what you already have. In fact, it’s the opposite. It will be cheaper to switch to Windows 10 now as software updates and new features for older OS’s will no longer be released, meaning you’d be stuck with software that is dated and doesn’t work as well as it could. If you are a school that relies on mobile devices working effectively and consistently, then it would be worth seriously considering the upgrade. Additionally, security patches will no longer be developed, which can result in security breaches. This can be incredibly harmful and costly for schools that hold personal data. A security breach that risks releasing personal data to anyone outside of your organisation is in breach of GDPR which could result in a hefty fine. Finally, for support providers to keep an older OS running in your school, they will have to charge more as ensuring it is working as best it can and protecting your school against any security breaches will become increasingly difficult.
What is better about Windows 10?
Firstly, Microsoft has returned to its familiar design, as Windows 10 appears to be similar to Windows 7, whilst including the most liked features of Windows 8. Increased security and safety means schools have less to worry about and it is student-friendly as the OS comes with built in anti-virus, meaning you don’t have to go out and purchase it and install it separately. The new* operating system has introduced a battery slider, meaning you can slide between ‘best battery life’ and ‘best performance’ accordingly to exactly what you’re using the device for in that moment.
*Windows 10 has actually been out for 4 years already, therefore it has been tried and tested thoroughly since then, with most issues and glitches having been identified and resolved, so with its proven success already, why not just make the switch now?
Apart from the obvious (like being much faster and more school-friendly than its predecessors), Microsoft have also introduced Nearby Sharing (think Apple’s Airdrop). This feature allows you to share something from one PC to another, which is perfect for classrooms that promote teamwork, however all devices that want to use the feature must be running on the latest Windows 10 update, so all the more reason to switch!
What isn’t so great about it?
We are going to be very honest with you right now… There really isn’t much that is bad about the operating system. A notable reason to hold off on migrating to Windows 10 is if your devices don’t quite meet the upgrade requirements. Perhaps it’s time to upgrade your device first before you make any changes to it, otherwise it may not be able to handle it? We have more information on this below.
Please be aware that at the moment the number of educational apps in the Windows Store is relatively low. Of course, this is likely to change over the next few years as Microsoft develops more apps and catches up to the other big guys like Apple and Google. Schools have been using Microsoft OS’s for a long time and this has never been a concern before, so it’s safe to say this should not be the ultimate influence on your decision to upgrade. Technology develops at rapid speed, so we can make an educated guess that Microsoft will be catching up to the other app stores in no time!
Let’s summarise; Microsoft is ending Windows 7 support in January 2020, meaning you only have until then to switch your OS to Windows 10, which has combined the favourable features from both Windows 7 and Windows 8 (how many times can we say ‘Windows’ in a sentence?). Windows 10 also includes integrated security and safety features from the very start, so you will not have to worry about any additional purchases and add-ons. Features like Nearby Sharing allow teachers and students to share their work with one another easily, improving group work and presenting with minimal classroom disruption.
Just a reminder that the new OS has been around for 4 years now, so all those irritating glitches have probably been fixed by now. With more than 600 million devices using the operating system as of November 2017, what more can we possibly say to persuade you to make the move?! And if none of that has you convinced, then this might: the ‘Start Menu’ is back! Yes, you read that right! You’ve been swayed now, haven’t you? We knew it.
Windows 10 is here to stay, so it is time to embrace the move and make sure the OS that is running your school is up-to-date and in the best shape possible.
What are the device requirements to be able to upgrade?
So, you are ready to switch to Windows 10 but need to know the specific requirements your devices to ensure it will work correctly. Here is what Microsoft have written regarding the minimum hardware you’ll need. If you require further assistance with this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0845 37 000 38.
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