It’s likely that the bad guys out there will now direct more attacks at Server 2003 systems because these can’t be kept secure any longer.Microsoft Windows Server 2015 will be launched in late 2015 or early 2016, but we believe the security implications are too serious to wait for that. Any systems still running Server 2003 are already up to 11 years old and should be migrated to Windows Server 2012 now. As Windows Server 2003 support ends on Bastille Day 14 July 2015, let’s hope there’s no storming of any IT citadels. No doubt we’ll blog more on this in the future but for now, if you’ve got Server 2003, speak to us soon to find the most effective way to reduce your exposure to malware and prepare your business for the future. Microsoft have two more events which will affect your desktop computers. One of these will be all over the press and one hasn’t been. The one which hasn’t been noticed is the end of Mainstream Support for Microsoft Windows 7 which happened on 13 January. This desktop operating system has been around since 2009 so, just like Windows XP, it’s had a good run and is now heading for retirement. This won’t be for a while as Microsoft Extended Support for Windows 7 will continue until January 2020, so there’s no need for panic yet.
The event which will be all over the press is the launch of Microsoft Windows 10 in the summer.That’s correct, Microsoft have moved from Windows 7 to Windows 8, to Windows 8.1 and now to Windows 10. They believe this will put clear blue water between the rather disappointing and awkward Windows 8 and the new system but let’s wait and see. The launch of Windows 10 might also bring in continuous incremental updates, just like those you probably get for your Android or Apple mobile phone, but again let’s wait and see how that will pan out. Here at Excellimore we’ve always believed it’s not cost-effective to upgrade an operating system because it would be expensive in labour time to update older hardware. The better course has always been to wait until the hardware is too old and slow to be useful and then to buy the new operating system along with the new hardware. This will obviously change if those upgrades are to be trickled down from Microsoft’s cloud and we’ll make sure that “automatic updates” don’t become “unexpected problems” for your business. And there’s more… The next version of Microsoft Office desktop software is due out later in the year. This will officially be Microsoft Office version 16 under the skin, but I don’t believe we’ve been told what it will finally be called – maybe Microsoft Office 2015? Perhaps Microsoft Office 2016? You might be aware that Microsoft Office desktop software is now available by subscription under the Microsoft Office 365 brand. Subscriptions start from £7 per user per month so this could be a worthwhile option to spread the cost if you’re a few versions behind with your Office software.
By subscribing you will be able to bring your Office software up-to-date and keep it there without having to pay for a big software purchase every few years.Finally from Microsoft, as far as we know for this year, is the launch of Universal office apps or “Office Everywhere”. With this initiative Microsoft hope to standardise the Office look and feel across all computers and devices, including PC and Mac desktops and laptops and also the various mobile environments. Let’s hope it’s more successful than their attempt to make Windows 8 behave the same way across every platform. Oh – sneaking in at the tail end are Microsoft Delve, Clutter, and Graph – but you’ve heard enough from me for now. More news as it happens, as they say on the telly!