Technology Advisor Blog

Are you ready? Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7 (and Server 2008) in January 2020.

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 2/7/19 10:33 AM

Windows 7 - End of LifeMicrosoft will be ending support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 on January 14, 2020. Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that they can focus their investment on supporting newer technologies. This is a standard part of their product life cycle.

After January 14, 2020 technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your PC and Server will no longer be made available for these products. Your systems will no longer have security protection and will be out of compliance for all major security compliance requirements (MA Data Security Law, HIPAA, etc), so it’s extremely important to be aware of this deadline and start the planning process now.

As part of the planning process, it's very important to consider the impact on Line-of-Business Applications.  These are the more specialized applications you may use to operate your business like tax preparation software, electronic medical records, resource planning applications, etc.   Typically, all standard business applications like Microsoft Office (of course), and routine things like Quickbooks will run on Windows 10 just fine, but even though Windows 10 has been in the market for five years, we continue to see some interoperability problems with some line of business applications.  It's very important to understand this before the change is made.  In some cases, vendors haven't kept up and ironed out all the bugs, but in other cases, if you're running an old version of an application, you'll need to upgrade to a more current version to be able to run on Windows 10, and this needs to be factored into the plan, budget, and schedule.  The same considerations are needed for upgrading from Server 2008.

We’re advising everyone in our community to have a Windows 7 / Server 2008 end-of-life plan in place by the end of Q1. For everyone on a managed service plan with Ekaru, the operating system report is included in your monthly report, so that’s a good starting point to look at which systems will be affected. Note that we can now provide hardware on monthly subscription basis, so this may be a fit for many businesses.

Please reach out to us with any questions and to help with the planning process.

Tags: Windows 7, cybersecurity

Windows Anytime Upgrade

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 2/14/13 8:58 AM

Windows 7 VersionsA few years ago, Microsoft made the operating system upgrade process a LOT easier by introducing the "Anytime Upgrade" process.  Windows Anytime Upgrade lets you compare features, select the upgrade, and the entire process only takes as little as 10 minutes.  Here is a link from Microsoft with a very short video that describes the process.

A common situation we run into is that a user has purchased the "home" version of an operating system, only to find out later that to connect to a server domain, run certain applications, or run in "XP Mode", they need the "professional" version of the operating system.  The different versions of the operating system provide different capabilities that aren't always obvious at first.  In the past, this would require a full new installation of the operating system, but "Anytime Upgrade" makes this a lot more simple and saves time.  

You can open Windows Anytime Upgrade by clicking on the Start button (Microsoft logo in the bottom left hand corner of your screen).  In the search box, type Anytime Upgrade, and then in the results click on Windows Anytime Upgrade.  Note that you can only switch from a 32-bit version to another 32-bit version, or a 64-bit version to another 64-bit version, and the upgrade isn't available with some versions of Windows such as Ultimate.

Tags: Windows 7, Windows Anytime Upgrade

How to View "Recent Items" in the Windows 7 Start Menu

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 8/3/11 2:26 PM

If you enjoy the convenience of being able to quickly access your recent items (Word files, Excel files, etc) without needing to open the application first or find the files in your folders, you can have a link to all of them right in your start menu.

A few clients who recently moved to Windows 7 have asked us about where their "recent items" went.  By default, the start menu doesn't show them, but it's easy to add...  just a few mouse clicks.

describe the image1.  Click on the "Start" button in the lower left hand side of your screen and the Start menu will appear. 

Start Menu Properties2.  Right click on the Start Menu and select "Properties".  (The word "Properties" will display after you right-click.)

3.  In the Task Bar and Start Menu Properties select the "Start Menu" tab and hit the "Customize" Button. 

describe the image4.  Check "Recent Items" and then hit the "OK" button.  Going forward, you'll be able to directly access all your recent files directly from the start menu.


Tags: Windows 7, Start Menu, Recent Items

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