What is an operating system?
The operating system on your computer is the first thing you interact with before using additional software, such as Microsoft Word, an Electronic Medical Record management system, or an antivirus program; or to access the Internet. Think of the operating system as the primary piece of software that all of your other software is dependent upon. As such, it is very important that the latest available updates are applied as soon as they can safely be applied to your environment.
What happens if I continue to use Windows XP but keep my antivirus current?
Microsoft has discontinued support and updates to Windows XP. In addition to this operating system being out of date and vulnerable to known security exploits, software developers will no longer be manufacturing software that is compatible with this system. Some malware, viruses and vulnerabilities can bypass your outdated security protection and attack your operating system directly. It is important to not leave any systems running with this operating system as it can provide an attack vector for cyber criminals.
If you continue to use Windows XP now that support has ended, your computer will still work. However, it will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 8 is also no longer supported, so if your Windows XP PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 8 to surf the Web, you will be exposing your PC to additional threats. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more applications and devices that do not work with your system.
What if my software only works with Windows XP or Windows 7 operating systems?
Often times, there are newer versions of software available, ensuring compatibility with the latest operating system. In the event that upgrades are not available, VMWare provides a workaround solution. We can use your updated Windows 10 operating system to run a virtual machine, so that you can run older programs within Windows XP, while protecting your computer and data.
What if I just purchased a new computer?
If you have recently purchased a computer, there is a good chance it is running Windows 8. One of the main disadvantages to non-touchscreen users was the removal of the traditional Start menu. Many users elected to continue using Windows 7, rather than upgrading, to avoid the productivity delays associated with using Windows 8. When compared to Windows 7, Windows 8 has many performance benefits including drastically reduced startup times and an improved task manager that provides detailed resource utilization. Even with its benefits for most the problems outweighed the advantages. If you are currently running Windows 7 or 8, free upgrades are available.
What is the latest operating system available
In an effort to increase their market share, Microsoft has decided to allow free upgrades from Windows 7 and 8, to Windows 10. For Home Edition users, this is approximately a $150 value; and for Professional users, this is almost $200 in savings per system upgraded.
After receiving feedback from many users, Microsoft has released Windows 10 which brings back the Start menu, combined with the performance improvements associated with Windows 8. The productivity and stability enhancements you’ve come to rely on from Windows 7 are also integrated along with many new useful features:
- Free upgrade available for 1 year for current Windows 7 SP1 and 8.1 users
- Task View mode enables virtual monitors to keep applications running separately with single or multiple displays
- Snap Assist with new four corners option in addition to the traditional snap to right, left and maximize
- Snipping Tool to easily create precise screen shots with new time delay capture feature
- Video recording feature, which is helpful for creating a video and sharing it with coworkers to display a common task within an application
- Improved graphics performance with the latest version of DirectX 12
- Newest Internet browser Edge, optimized for performance and touch interfaces
- Faster startup and shutdown times than rival Apple’s OSX
- Redesigned Start menu combines the best of Windows 7 and 8 features optimized for both touch and mouse interfaces
- Optimized calculator that includes a slide out history tape that is independently managed by the clear button
- Cortana, your personal search assistant for all of your documents, appointments and Internet searches
In addition to these features, keep in mind the latest peripherals and software will be optimized moving forward for Windows 10 users.