Windows XP® Support has ended and Windows Vista® is heading toward the same fate in April 2017.

This means that Microsoft will no longer be issuing updates, patches and giving support for these products and anyone still using them is likely to be running a machine with multiple security exploits and bugs that haven’t been fixed. Not a particularly good idea!

There are three different OS’s available from Microsoft currently with a couple of different versions of each. The “Home” editions are designed for everyday users and the “Pro” versions generally have a couple of extra features.

Windows 7® is still available for the time being but licenses are no longer manufactured. Stock is likely to run out soon.

Currently Available Microsoft® Operating Systems:

Windows_7_logo.svg

Simple, reliable, compatible.

A classic, everybody has seen and likely used a Windows 7 PC. It is currently used on more that 55% of computers and is one of the most straight forward and easy to use operating systems available.

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Familiar, touch support, apps.

The initial release of Windows 8 was met by an incredible amount of uproar as a lot of users complained at some of the changes. However most of the issues were fixed with the free 8.1 update.

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New, faster, better than ever.

The latest operating system from Microsoft is here and they seem to have done quite well this time! Imagine the best features from the previous few OS’s combined with some really cool new additions.

Features that Require a Pro version of Windows®:

Unfortunately, some features of Windows are only available in the “Professional” editions.

Remote Desktop

This will allow you to control the PC remotely and see what is on the screen from anywhere in the world. It is very similar to TeamViewer and LogMeIn however it is a Microsoft product so you will receive regular updates, patches and support through Windows Update. A Pro edition is not needed to access the PC remotely, only on the PC you wish to connect to, for example a Windows 7 Home Premium PC can remotely access a Windows 10 Pro machine. For your employees this means that, providing they have a computer, they will be able to access their work PCs from their own.

Domain Joining

This is a feature that will allow the PC to join a server’s domain. This is essential for the Hot Desking utility that was mentioned on our Servers It’s also helpful for a number of other reasons such as the fact that it stops users from changing settings as they can only be modified on the server.

Essentially a domain is a way to lock down what your staff can do and centrally administer all of the PCs in your network.

Assigned Access

This is a setting whereby a PC can be effectively ‘locked’ to one app or program. As soon as the user with assigned access switched on signs in they will be greeted with whatever the application is immediately. They will not be able to close it, access other programs or use the PC for anything outside of that application. This is perfect for use as a kiosk or a POS system.

BitLocker

This is a full disk encryption feature that allows you to securely lock all of the data on a drive with a password. You will have to enter this password each time the computer is turned on to decrypt the disk.

If anyone were to take the drive out of the computer they would also have to enter this password, otherwise all they will see is random, muddled up gibberish.

Group Policy Management

Group policies are the way that Windows handles the “centralized management” benefit of having a server. Essentially you create “groups” and then assign those groups “policies”, rather simple really!

A policy could be something as simple as blocking access to Task Manager to more complex enforcement such as restricting access of certain folders for particular groups.

Other features such as DirectAccess, BranchCache and some other lesser known ones can also be configured for you. If you’d like to know more about a feature or if you have any other questions please get in touch.

Website sales are coming soon.
If you can’t wait, call us on 01202 830121.