Onwards and Upgrades: Windows 8 is reaching end of life

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18th August 2022

Windows 8 has reached the end of life
Windows 8 is reaching end of life

It’s the end of an era, and Windows 8 is officially reaching End of Life (EOL). As a result, Microsoft will no longer provide support for the operating system. However, Microsoft has a very detailed roadmap for those planning their migration to the new operating system. The end of Extended Support is January 10th 2023, so there’s plenty of time left in which you can start planning your move to Windows 10! 

So, what is the end of life?  

To debunk a few myths, we want to tell you precisely what EOL entails. First, your operating system will not freeze up. For example, if you are using Windows 8.1, any programs or hardware you are running will likely still work- even after discontinuation. What will not work is your automatic updates from Microsoft. 

After a product reaches its end of life, there are three key areas where Microsoft will no longer provide support: security updates, technical support, and software updates. However, your computer will continue to function as expected. We know that avoiding service interruption is essential to your company’s success. As a result, we recommend migrating well ahead of time. By pre-planning your migration, you can ensure that your systems will not miss out on critical updates or changes, giving you peace of mind and providing everything functions smoothly without any hiccups.  

So what next? 

What are your options? An EOL support article for customers states: “Most Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 devices will not meet the hardware requirements for upgrading to Windows 11. As an alternative, compatible Windows 8 and 8.1 PCs can upgrade to Windows 10 by purchasing and installing a full version of the software”. 

As a result, users with older hardware can take advantage of Windows 10 as the optimal upgrade path. Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 until October 14th 2025, and users can take advantage of the most recent Windows 11 OS- if their device is compatible. 

So what does this mean for your practice? 

The discontinuation of support for Windows 8.1 means a few different things for your practice: 

  • It’s time to plan your upgrade. Planning ahead of time is essential for a smooth migration. Using unsupported systems puts you at risk for malware and viruses. In addition, any software running on Windows 8.1 will no longer function as expected after the EOL date.  
  • Ensuring your existing equipment and systems can work on newer versions of Windows is critical. However, it would be best if you also had a plan in place for any equipment you cannot upgrade. The best course of action is to take inventory of all your devices and software and determine what needs to be updated or replaced. This inventory will help you create a budget and timeline for your Windows 8.1 migration.
  • You need to work with the right company to guide you through migration. The function of your practice’s systems is critical for patients and the smooth operation of your business. At Microminder, we know all of the ins and outs of Microsoft software and specialise in helping practices navigate Windows effectively. We can help you take inventory of your devices and software, create a budget and timeline for migration, and ensure a smooth transition to the new operating system.
  • The impact of not updating your Windows can be devastating to your business. Your practice would significantly suffer if you could not use the equipment in your office. Not updating Windows on these machines could also mean not being able to access patient records or, even worse, losing data altogether! Without adequately protecting your data, you could face ramifications regarding your GDPR compliance. 
  • Stop using Windows 7! Whilst Microsoft stopped supporting this software in 2020, Software of Excellence had “been able to manage backward compatibility with Windows 7”. However, in a recent statement, the Software of Excellence advised, “Microsoft will no longer support the .net programming framework that we build EXACT on for Windows 7”. As a result, Software of Excellence will no longer support Windows 7 EXACT hardware or ensure data protection. Therefore, systems must upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible if they process your patients’ sensitive information. 

So what are your options?

– Upgrade your operating system to Windows 10 (depending on 3rd party requirements/restrictions).

– Implement Vigilance Security Suite so that you are not reliant on Windows Defender and Sydaweb Browser Control

How can Microminder help you? 

If there are two things we feel we’re experts in, it’s Microsoft and Practices. With over three decades of experience in the dental sector, we understand what makes a successful practice and how our expertise and knowledge can help you deliver your IT strategy. So get in touch today for specialised support on how you can migrate your operating systems.

For more information you can call us today on 0208 799 6883 and speak with one of our Solution Consultants.

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