Two Important Updates To Your Microsoft Systems Recently, we talked about several things you should know before upgrading your business to Windows 10. Since then, there have been additional changes to be aware of. Support End Dates In our previous post, we focused on the areas of support needed for the update. If you’re operating on an older version of Windows, you’ll want to pay attention to these dates. Windows 7: mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015, but extended support is now offered until January 14, 2020. Windows 8.1: mainstream support ends on January 9, 2018. Here is how Microsoft defines mainstream and extended support: Mainstream support. Microsoft will offer mainstream support for a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product's general availability. For example, if you buy a new version of Windows and five years later another version is released, you will still have two years of support left for the previous version. Extended support. Microsoft will offer extended support for a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product's general availability. For more information on mainstream support, extended support, and support end dates, click here. Update #1 Over the past couple months, Microsoft has announced support end dates for their latest operating system, Windows 10. Mainstream support for Windows 10 will end October 13, 2020, and extended support will end October 14, 2025. A lot can happen between now and October 2020, but these dates are helpful to know if you’re considering a migration to Windows 10. Another important date to consider is the end of extended support for Windows Vista, which was April 11, 2017. For those still using Vista, now is the time to consider hiring a technology company to run a Windows 10 compatibility review. This review will ensure your workstations are able to upgrade to the latest version of Windows. Security Updates for Past Versions For organizations planning to continue Windows 7 or 8.1 use, applicable security updates will be available for all 6th Gen Intel Core devices until the end of support for the past versions. For more details from Microsoft about PC models with Intel’s 6th generation processors, click here. If you’re looking for further information regarding Microsoft’s lifecycle support policies, visit the Microsoft Support website. Update #2 In addition to the security updates for previous versions of Windows, Microsoft recently released a major update to Windows 10. The update is called Windows 10 Creators Update. This came out April 11, 2017, and brings with it several design and user interface updates, as well as several navigation and security enhancements. If your organization uses Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, but isn’t sure about the update, you are able to control when you want the update to occur. You can also consider deferring Windows 10 upgrades by going into your settings, and clicking on “update & security,” then click “advanced options,” and select the “defer feature updates” check box. This will opt you out of the major update for a few months, yet allow you to still receive regular security updates. What to do With support end dates for previous versions drawing near, and big updates to Windows 10 already released, it’s an ideal time to evaluate your organization’s current software and operating systems. For organizations that already have Windows 10, consider if the update is something you’d want to implement right away or possibly delay for a few months (for example: certain applications may not be compatible with the update). In the meantime, be on the lookout for more news pertaining to Windows updates and new support end dates. Does your organization need to consider upgrading its operating systems? Bob Bally Bob has been providing technology solutions to Clients for 18 years. With a focus on forward thinking, Bob plans long term solutions for Clients with scalability as a priority. As a former Operations Officer, Bob understands the need for reliable outsourcing solutions. Clients that work with Bob find their Organizations more efficient and productive after contact. Bob's passion is to exceed the Client's need in all ways possible.