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While the big Microsoft news lately has been around their new Windows 11 operating system, few Not for Profits have noticed that Windows 8.1 will no longer be supported after January 2023. This is a big deal from a security and software capability issue.

Even now, I regularly find my clients still using Windows 7 on old computers (security risk!). Furthermore, their IT team are often unaware of this coming migration need.

What does this mean for Not for Profits?

  • License Cost Implications: None. At the moment, you can still migrate from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 to Windows 10 for free. Your IT support can download the files from Microsoft’s website directly.
  • Hardware Cost Implications: If you have any computers still on these older operating systems, they are likely due for a much-needed refresh. Windows 10 was first released in 2015. This would mean that any computer in your fleet with these older operating systems are likely to me at least 7 years old. Hardware is generally fully depreciated in 3-5 years for good reasons: they simply won’t function as well.
  • Resource Support Implications: If you are unable to replace these older computers yet, then you will need to plan for a migration to Windows 10 in the next few months. How your IT team (or provider) deploys new software (physically or through Microsoft Azure), as well as, the number of computers that needs this upgrade, will impact the amount of time and resources required to achieve this.

The next step for most executives is to ask their IT team for a list of any Windows computers not on Windows 10 and 11, and then to plan for either an equipment upgrade or operating system migration very soon.

Tammy Ven Dange is a former charity CEO, Not for Profit Board Member and IT Executive. Today she helps NFPs with IT decisions.

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