Blogs, Microsoft

How to Prepare for the End of Windows 10 Support

As the saying goes, the only constant in life is change. Whatever your industry, keeping one eye on the future helps ensure your business is equipped to evolve with the times instead of being caught out by unexpected new developments. With the end of support for Windows 10 on the horizon, we wanted to take some time to explore the potential ramifications for SMEs and offer some guidance to help business owners prepare for and navigate the upcoming transition. Ready to dive in?

When is Windows 10 Support Ending?

We’ll start with the important bit: Microsoft has officially announced that support for Windows 10 will end on October 14, 2025. This means no more updates, security patches, or technical support will be available for the operating system beyond this date. 2025 may seem far away, but just like any holiday, it’ll come around sooner than you think. Continuing to use an unsupported operating system can expose you to security risks and compliance issues, not to mention that a lot of third-party software will become incompatible with devices still running Windows 10. With that in mind, take note of the end-of-life date and give yourself plenty of time to make the necessary adjustments.

What Systems and Hardware Will Be Affected?

One of the primary concerns for SMEs is understanding which systems and hardware will be affected by the end of Windows 10 support. It’s important to note that not all of your existing hardware will be compatible with newer versions of Windows. Specifically, PCs with CPUs older than Intel’s 7th generation or AMD’s equivalent may not support Windows 11. This incompatibility is due to the increased hardware requirements for security features and performance enhancements in the latest operating system.

If your business is using older hardware, you’ll need to assess your current inventory, checking the specifications of your systems to see if they meet the new requirements. Should you find that your hardware is outdated, you’ll need to start planning upgrades or consider investing in managed hardware solutions that ensure technology compatibility and reliability throughout your SME’s lifespan.

Why is Windows 10 Being Phased Out?

Microsoft’s decision to phase out Windows 10 is driven by the need to enhance security, performance, and user experience. Newer operating systems like Windows 11 come with advanced security features, better support for modern hardware, and improved productivity tools. By discontinuing support for Windows 10, Microsoft aims to push users towards adopting these newer technologies, which offer better protection against cyber threats and more efficient operation – something SMEs in particular stand to benefit from.

What it Means for Businesses

For many businesses, the end of Windows 10 support means potentially dealing with a backlog of devices that need upgrading. Without timely preparation, you might find yourself scrambling to upgrade systems at the last minute. Assume that most SMEs will hear about the incoming changes, immediately dismiss them, and put updates on hold. This is guaranteed to leave service providers inundated with eleventh-hour requests, leading to operational disruptions and higher costs for your business if you put off seeking out their services. Upgrades have to be made sooner or later because unsupported legacy systems can have severe consequences, including data breaches and loss of customer trust, which are notoriously difficult to recover from. It’s best to stay on top of them and ahead of the competition.

How to Prepare for the Transition

  1. Audit Your Current Systems: Conduct a thorough audit of your existing hardware and software. Identify which systems are running Windows 10 and check if they meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11. For those that don’t, consider the feasibility of upgrades or replacements.
  2. Plan Your Budget: Early preparation allows you to spread the cost of upgrades over time, mitigating the impact on your finances. In the long term, budgeting for managed hardware solutions can help you avoid the financial strain of last-minute purchases.
  3. Engage with IT Support Services: Partnering with outsourced IT support can provide the expertise needed to manage the transition efficiently. They can help with system audits, planning, and the actual migration process, ensuring minimal disruption to your operations.
  4. Train Your Staff: Ensure that your employees are prepared for the new operating system. This includes training sessions on new features and any changes in workflows that the new OS might bring. In combination with suitable hardware, well-prepared staff who can adapt quickly guarantee optimal productivity and a shorter adjustment period.
  5. Develop a Timeline: Create a detailed timeline for the transition. Include key milestones such as auditing, budgeting, procurement, installation, and training. Having a clear plan ensures that all necessary steps are taken well before the October 2025 deadline and helps break the task down into more manageable chunks.

Why Early Preparation Is Key

Starting your preparation early offers several advantages. It allows you to take advantage of any promotional deals on new hardware, avoid supply chain disruptions, and ensure that you’re not competing with other businesses for IT support services closer to the deadline. Early adopters of Windows 11 also gain a competitive edge, benefitting from the improved security and productivity features, while other SMEs face delayed transitions and halted operations.

Proactivity is always better than procrastination, which is why IT support providers like us offer a range of installation and setup options within our service packages. This means that when the time for upgrades rolls around, businesses aren’t left facing the stress of sourcing compatible equipment. Instead, they experience all the advantages of the latest tech, with none of the headaches.

Closing Thoughts

The end of Windows 10 support in 2025 is an event that may be easy to overlook for now but will have significant impacts on SMEs when it rolls around. By understanding the timeline, assessing your current systems, and engaging with managed hardware and outsourced IT support, you can ensure a smooth transition to Windows 11. Early preparation is the best way to mitigate risks, manage costs, and maintain business continuity, so start planning today to secure your business’s future.

Prodigy IT: Empowering Operational Excellence, No Matter the Circumstances

We’re in the business of helping businesses, whatever the technological landscape brings. Our team of experts offer effective outsourced IT support and cyber solutions that empower your work and protect your data. We centre our efforts around reducing the risks your business faces and offering improved levels of communication, collaboration, and productivity in your everyday business processes. To prepare for the end of Windows 10 support or to discuss getting more from your IT in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.