Operating systems (OS) like Windows and macOS normally have an end-of-support date. This is when software developers stop providing support and updates for their OS. For instance, Windows 10 will no longer receive technical support, software updates, and security patches after its OR when it reaches end of support on October 14, 2025.
Once an OS’s end-of-support date is announced, organizations must start planning to upgrade their systems to a newer OS like Windows 11. During this process, organizations need to do three things:
Check application compatibility
Application compatibility can become a problem when migrating to a newer OS. If your business apps aren’t compatible with the new system, you’ll encounter productivity and efficiency issues.
Organizations looking to upgrade their computers to Windows 11 or macOS Catalina or newer also face the issue of the OSs’ exclusive support for 64-bit apps. In the past, it was easy for businesses to ensure compatibility for their apps because previous versions of these operating systems also supported 32-bit apps, but this is no longer the case.
To fix this issue, you need to migrate apps to the cloud or use compatibility packs that will make your program compatible with the new system. You can also partner with a reliable managed IT services provider (MSP) like Complete Document Solutions to make sure your critical business applications work with the new OS.
Identify and replace discontinued features
A new OS version might discontinue some of its predecessor’s features, which can be a problem if your organization relies on those features.
To illustrate, Internet Explorer (IE) is no longer built into Windows 11 and cannot be downloaded separately. If you rely on IE for your legacy apps and websites, you may have trouble running them on Windows 11.
The best way to prevent this problem is to determine which of your apps rely on discontinued features and find alternative ways of accessing them. For instance, Windows 11 offers an Internet Explorer mode in its Microsoft Edge browser, so you can use that to access your legacy applications and websites. If there are no built-in alternatives in your new OS, you can seek the help of MSPs who may recommend new apps and solutions for your company.
Avoid Extended Security Updates if possible
In line with Windows 7’s end of life back in January 2020, Microsoft offered Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for the OS through 2023. ESUs are a last resort for customers who need to run certain legacy products past their end of support. It includes critical and important security updates for a maximum of three years.
ESUs, however, normally cost $50 per device, and this price doubles every year. This means businesses can end up paying hundreds of dollars for extended support for one PC. And if they have several computers in their office, this amount can quickly multiply. While Microsoft will likely offer ESUs again for Windows 10, expect prices to remain the same or be even higher.
In comparison, a Windows 11 upgrade for compatible PCs is completely free. Updating to a more modern OS will give you access to new features that can improve your employees’ productivity and free security updates that will protect your systems against cyberattacks.
Plan ahead for the future
Even if an OS’s end-of-support date is still far away, you can use the time to properly plan your business’s upgrade strategy. By doing so, you can proactively prevent IT issues that often disrupt your business and cause downtime.
Need help upgrading your computers? Complete Document Solutions can help. We won’t just deploy the OS to your devices, but we will also ensure that all of your files and applications will work seamlessly. Contact us today to learn more.