Windows 10 landscape

Reviewing your Windows 10 Landscape

Reviewing your Windows 10 Landscape

Microsoft’s most popular operating system Windows 10 will officially end support in October 2025.  Whilst that date is over a year away, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how your business will make the transition before that day arrives.

Some businesses have already made the jump.  The first version of Windows 11 has with us since late 2021. With new versions released in 2022 & 2023, with a fourth version on the way this year.  However many business have not made the jump for various reasons. Which include end user comfort, unsupported hardware, or just a reluctance to change.

Most mainstream software applications support Windows 11 now, so software compatibility is not a stumbling block for most.

Hardware compatibility seems to be the main area of concern, so lets review the types of computers we commonly see, and how they might be affected.

Lockdown Laptops

During the pandemic we saw lots of businesses provisioning new devices throughout 2020/2021.  Many end user switched from PCs to Laptops for hybrid working purposes, just before the release of Windows 11, so there are lots of Windows 10 laptops out in the wild.

During that period, new devices were typically 9th & 10th generation (based on Intel CPU) and running Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM).

Good news!  Most of these devices are capable of running Windows 11 already.  So if your lockdown laptop is still doing the business for you on Windows 10, its probably going to continue serving you well with Windows 11.

Upgraded age-old stalwarts

A trend of upgrading spinning hard disk drives (HDD) to solid state drives (SSD) and throwing in extra sticks of RAM meant that older PCs were given an extra lease of life.  Many still offer good performance for users who perform fairly lightweight tasks.

Good news!  Most 8th & 9th generation computers (approx. 5-6 yrs old) can handle Windows 11 too if you have the right spec!  So again, if your computer is just fine then you can upgrade.

Sadly though, most computers 7th generation and older cannot take Windows 11.  The onboard Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip in these computers is not compatible.  That means that they can’t come along for the next leg of the journey…  To be fair, you’ve probably had your money’s worth out of them by now.

Operational Technology

Lots of computers on the shop floor run more basic / mundane tasks. So we often see much older computers handling those tasks just fine.

Only a few months ago one of our engineering customers brought a Windows’98 PC in for repair due to a power supply failure.  The PC itself was actually older than one of our members of staff!!!  It runs an old etching machine, and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” right!?

If you have REALLY old computers in your environment for reasons that are difficult to control, you should review them periodically to ensure they are secured and protected, and pose no risk to your organisation.  This particular one runs stand-alone and is not connected to a network, which reduces risk.

Amazingly, we managed to find an old power supply to get that one back in service – hopefully for another 20 years!

Safe to say, you can’t take computers like this to Windows 11…


Can I wait and go straight to Windows 12?

Microsoft is being typically tight-lipped about its plans for the next version of Windows.  Rumours in recent months, helped along by some leaks from partners suggest we will indeed get yet another “big bang” release in 2024, roughly three years after the launch of Windows 11.

With us having no solid information on this, we can’t tell you much.  Other than lots of 3rd party software vendors are typically slow to bring new Windows versions into their “support operating system” lists, so we can expect the same here.  If a new OS does land in late’24, we can expect many vendors to be looking at 2025 for fully supported operation.

In all likelihood, we’re probably going to see lots of Windows 12 computers before we see the back of Windows 10!

How do I get on top of this?

Understanding how many of your computers can make the jump, and which ones, will help you get organised.  As an organisation, you know this is coming down the tracks so communicating expected financial impacts early will help your finance team budget accordingly.

Making some sensible choices now could help you spread the cost of replacing endpoints over a few financial years, which could help.

This is all part of maintaining a healthy Hardware Lifecycle.

Please get in touch with us if you would like us to carry out a free of charge audit to find out where you are currently at and what is the best plan of action going forward.

Many thanks,

John Rider

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