After 14th Jan, Windows 7 will stop getting free support and security updates from Microsoft, which means that for any new vulnerability discovered in Windows 7 after 14th Jan, Microsoft will not release a patch. If (when) a new vulnerability is discovered after Jan 14th and the computers within your network are still running Windows 7, it will make your network extremely vulnerable to attacks.
Cyber criminals are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities in PCs/networks and running Windows 7 after EoL is synonymous to willingly exposing yourself to attacks. Hence, it is imperative for cyber-aware organizations and individuals running Windows 7 to migrate to higher versions or buy Microsoft's Extended Security Updates.
If you'll be staying with Windows 7 for a significant amount of time, then it is best that you opt for Microsoft's Extended Security Updates (ESUs). Microsoft will be providing Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 for enterprises/businesses for the next three years - till 2023, at a cost.
It isn't mandatory to upgrade to Windows 10, you also have the option to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 8.1. You can opt for this in case the computers within your network don't meet system requirements for Windows 10. However, if your computers do meet the system requirements for Windows 10 you should opt for Windows 10 instead of Windows 8.1 because of the following reasons:
The benefits of upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 are as follows:
You can upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 primarily by the following methods:
The target computers need to meet the following system requirements to be eligible for a WIndows 10 upgrade:
To check whether the computers meet the specified system requirements, you need to create a report using your endpoint/system management solution. You can create filters and conditions and then generate a report. After the report has been generated, it is best for these computers to be added to a group in your endpoint/system management/os deployment solution for easy deployment.
To upgrade your existing Windows 7 computers to Windows 10 using OS imaging and deployment, follow the steps given below:
To upgrade your existing Windows 7 computers to Windows 10 using software deployment, follow the steps given below:
If the Windows version is being upgraded by deploying a software package, you need to ensure that all the versions of the applications currently present in the computers running Windows 7 are compatible with Windows 10. If the applications are not compatible to Windows 10, the computer will automatically roll back to Windows 7 after the next reboot.
Another thing to keep in mind while deploying the package is the command line arguments for silent installation. The command line argument/silent installation switch determines whether the user files, settings and applications will be migrated to Windows 10 or not. So, you need to be careful while creating and deploying the Windows 10 package, since the use of an inaccurate command line argument will result in loss of critical user data.
View this document for steps to deploy Windows 10 using software deployment in Endpoint Central.
Using Endpoint Central, you can upgrade the Windows 7 computers in your network to Windows 10 seamlessly, via both software deployment and OS deployment. Endpoint Central's OS deployment & software deployment capabilities offer granular control and customization over the entire process, so that you can tailor fit the deployment to your organization's needs.