March 7, 2016 by Tris Hussey

Start Planning Your Windows 10 Migration Projects Now (Updated)

Start Planning Your Windows 10 Migration Projects Now (Updated)

Don’t wait until Windows 7 isn’t supported or updated

Microserve can help you transition systems from Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10

See an important update to this post below...

There have been a lot of conflicting messages about Windows 7/8.1, Windows 10, and Intel’s newest Skylake processors. We’ve heard Windows 7/8.1 will not be supported on Intel’s newest chips (and only Windows 10 will run) and we’ve heard that older versions of Windows will run, but might have issues. We have the definitive answers from Microsoft on the issue and what it means for you (see links at the end of this post).

After July 17, 2017 (roughly 18 months from now) Microsoft will provide updates for only the most critical security vulnerabilities on Windows 7/8.1 systems that are just now starting to ship with Skylake, Intel’s 6 th generation processors. If you have an older machine running Windows 7/8.1 extended support continues until January 2020. It’s up to Microsoft to determine what critical means and if they will risk breaking Windows 7/8.1 on older processors. And if that doesn’t make you nervous enough…

The next generation of processors (Kady Lake from Intel, Bristol Ridge from AMD, and 8996 from Qualcomm) will only work on Windows 10 or better . These processors will start coming out early 2017.

Bottom line: the sun is setting on Windows 7/8.1 and you need to start working on your testing and migration plans for Windows 10 before it comes down to the wire for getting support and updates.

What this means for you

Machines you have now using older chips (so purchased early 2016, through 2015 and before) can keep running Windows 7/8.1 through the whole extended support period until 2020. Machines you buy now will have new chips and while they can run Windows 7/8.1 they are designed to run best under Windows 10 and those machines running Windows 7/8.1 will start getting only the most critical updates after July 17, 2017. Machines that you purchase starting in 2017 with the next generation chips will only be able to run Windows 10 (Windows 7/8.1 won’t even be an option).

Now is the time to start your migration plans

We know that moving to Windows 10 from Windows 7/8.1 means a lot of time, energy, and testing, but Microserve is here to help you. We can help get equipment for you to test (as we already have for several clients) and, as you plan your larger migration, we can help you with rollouts, images, and logistics that make migration projects challenging.

There are lots of solutions out there to help with the migration, sitting down with Microserve now will give you the best options to plan and get things moving.

What if I just wait?

Right now you have time, support, and security updates available for Windows 7/8.1. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be to make the transition. Legacy apps will be that much more legacy, hardware will be older (so more machines will need to be replaced), and, as you get closer and closer to the switch over time, replacement machines will only work with Windows 10. Starting now gives you the lead time you need to make sure can thoroughly test your applications and plan a roadmap for transitioning your company to Windows 10.

Face it, trying to pull off a last minute migration would be a nightmare and having machines with unpatched security holes is dangerous.

Let’s start talking and planning now

Get it in touch with a Microserve account executive to learn how our 30 years of desktop deployment experience can help you plan for Windows 10 migrations. From desktop deployments to cloud to managed IT services, Microserve has the depth of skills and talent to help you get the most out of your technology investments.

Here is the official document we received from Microsoft on Skylake and Windows 7/8.1.

Update March 21st

We got word through our partners that Microsoft is extending Skylake support for another year and has stated that all critical patches will be available for new hardware until the end of Windows 7 (2020) and Windows 8.1 (2023) lifecycles. All the details are on TechNet, but let me boil this down for you

What this change means is that you can continue to upgrade your machines with new hardware and still install Windows 7 or 8.1 a little longer. This extra year means you have more time to transition to Windows 10, but doesn't mean that you should stop or delay your plans to transition to Windows 10. We believe that you need to plan for moving to Windows 10 and start your testing now.

The good news is that you get another year for a safe and full transition and if you have lingering systems that need to stay on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you have until 2020 and 2023 respectively to make the switch. You will still need to plan for switching to Windows 10, but at least you can confidently buy new hardware in the meantime.

Windows upgrade image by Matti Mattila.

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