Today marks one year to the day until Windows 7 goes end of life. In an ideal world, most of us would like to be around “90% done upgrading”, but as previous experience shows this often isn’t the case. Be honest, how long did it take before you switched off your last Windows XP device… 2015, 2016, or was it 2017 when WannaCry made you think that it’s a really bad idea (not to mention dangerous) to keep these devices running.
Even with time running out, there are several options available and It really depends on where you are at with your migration. I thought I’d put together some thoughts that might help.
Scenario 1: I haven’t started or, I’ve started, but I’m not very far into it and won’t be anywhere near complete by 14 January 2020
There can be many reasons why you are here. Regardless of these reasons, you need to ensure that you and your org are safely protected past 14 January 2020.
Microsoft announced on 6 September 2018 that they will be providing Extended Security Updates support for Windows 7, but only to January 2023.
This would be my least recommended option, but if you have no choice, you need to engage with Microsoft. There will also be a cost to this option, but not going with this and taking the risk… well, I mentioned WannaCry above…
Because there will be a cost, you need to ensure that your organisation has budget for it, so that conversation needs to be happening now.
Scenario 2: I’ve migrated what I can, but I have these mission critical applications that have issues with Windows 10.
Microsoft are committed to making Windows 10 the most compatible Windows operating system. As part of this commitment, Microsoft introduced Desktop App Assure.
You can fill out a request to engage with FastTrack, and best of all, its FREE to Windows 10 Enterprise and Education customers.
Desktop App Assure is being preview in the United States now and will have Worldwide availability on 1 February 2019.
Scenario 3: I’m well into my migration, but how can I speed it up?
There are several ways to speed up migrations. If you’re looking at some hardware refreshes, you could look at using technologies like Windows Autopilot to streamline deployment.
Another way to assist with migrations is the excellent information provided by Windows Analytics. If you are not using Windows Analytics, I strongly recommend you consider it. You get a lot of valuable information that to help with your migration, as well as being able to use it to help manage your ongoing Windows as a Service (WaaS) with Windows 10. Windows Analytics will be transitioning to Desktop Analytics later this year and looks like it will be able to provide greater insight leading to better decision making.
I couldn’t finish this blog post without mentioning Windows Insider for Business. Regardless of where you are at in your Windows 10 migration, you need to be thinking about how you will be managing Windows 10 and its servicing model (WaaS). Windows Insider for Business forms the critical foundation for ensuring success with WaaS. Having the confidence that you will have minimised problems with each Windows 10 release is critical for any enterprise admin.
With the three tools I have mentioned in this post (Windows Insider for Business, Windows/Desktop Analytics and Desktop App Assure), you can be confidant not only with your Windows 7 to 10 migration, but your continual Windows 10 management.
I’d love to hear from people out there, so please feel free to reach out here or on twitter (@TheNewNumber2)