Although the final version of Windows 8 is publicly available, most organizations plan to upgrade to Windows 7. Forumswindows8.com, a large Windows 8 help and support forum recently polled 50,000 users to know their favorite Windows operating system and the majority preferred Windows 7. Another recent research polled 330 IT professionals on their experiences, expectations and concerns surrounding Windows 7 migrations. 30% of respondents reported that Windows 7 had been completely implemented in their organization; the remaining 70% reported that their migration was still in progress or not yet started.
Windows 7 tackles the concerns of most of small businesses, such as time constraints, compatibility issues, hardware requirements and security. Still most small companies don’t see the benefit in upgrading to Windows 7. They find it too time consuming and costly. These are legitimate concerns, but small businesses have to weigh the consequences that come with the decision to stick on their old operating systems – XP or Vista. Security and support are the 2 most important aspects small businesses have to reflect on.
Security concerns and the risks associated
Small companies that continue to use old operating systems are exposing themselves to security risks. For instance, All Windows XP security updates will end in 2014, and this will leave businesses still on XP vulnerable to attacks and viruses.
Support challenges and the costs associated
While older systems might still work, small companies spend great amounts of money on support. Overall, these costs are five times higher than they would be when operating Windows 7 systems. An IDG whitepaper sponsored by Microsoft shows that the support for Windows XP is requiring more money each day that passes. In the fourth year of continuing to use Windows XP, IT labor costs grow by 25 %, while employee productivity draws a 23% higher cost.
As operating systems age, the support costs and the associated security risks outweigh the expense of replacing them. Through Windows 7, small companies can benefit from increased support for a wider range of technologies, faster and better performing hardware. According to IDG, companies that migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7 see a ROI of over 130% over a three-year period. By encouraging the use of modern technologies like Windows 7, the IT staff improves their productivity and that of your employees.