Why You Need to Prepare For Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 End Of Life

All good things must come to an end, including the business software that you have likely been using for years. In the tech field, we call this End of Life. This basically means that the developer will no longer issue security updates, fix bugs and flaws, or offer support.

And now its Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008’s turn to head to the big computer graveyard in the sky.

Why is this important?

While technically you can still use your computer after the End of Life deadline, it comes with incredible risk. After the deadline, your computer will be vulnerable to exploits, bugs, and viruses. If you choose to be daring and not update and then find yourself with an issue, you will likely receive no help from Microsoft.

Bottom line: After January 14, 2020 Microsoft will no longer be offering any support or repair services.

What does this mean for your business?

If you are a Windows customer, Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 will be ending January 14, 2020. Extended Support for Windows 7 will also be ending January 14, 2020.

It is important to ensure that your business is protected, which will become more difficult without security updates, higher maintenance costs, and compliance concerns. Braver Technology Solutions support for Windows Server 2008 may not be covered under your Level 1 Priority contract. 

From now until January 14, 2020, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 users that require support will be charged a premium from Microsoft for issues and support tickets. Once Extended Support ends, Microsoft will no longer support any issues or tickets for Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7.

 

Windows updates over the years via Microsoft.com

 

What Do I Need To Do To Prepare?

Braver Technology Solutions can make the upgrading process easy and keep you well protected. We have multiple solutions for your business to limit disruption and deliver the latest features and benefits from Windows. A smooth transition to a new operating system includes:

  • Identify machines that need to be upgraded or replaced
  • Develop a timeline and budget for upgrades and replacements
  • Plan for installation and employee training to learn the new system

Contact us today to discuss an upgrade and replacement plan for your business

 

5 Benefits To Using Multiple Monitors In The Workplace

When it comes to working in a modern office, you want to maximize your efficiency and be as productive as possible. One of the best ways to achieve this is to take advantage of multiple monitors.

Working with two or more monitors has virtually limitless benefits, but we rounded up the top 5 benefits to using multiple monitors for you to consider.  

 

via GIPHY

You too could be this productive with multiple monitors! 

Increase In Productivity

The data doesn’t lie – studies have shown that using a dual monitor setup can increase your productivity and reduce errors. In one study conducted by the University of Nevada, participants found multiscreen desktops “significantly more useful” and “preferred on every measure of usability” to single monitor setups.

 

Simplicity

Setting up and using multiple monitors is simpler than you might think. Installing an additional monitor doesn’t require any extra software. Plus, all the settings for multiple monitors are located within the same controls as your individual. It’s as easy as “drag and drop” to move applications from one screen to the other.  

Feel like you’d rather have a professional’s help? Our engineers are more than happy to assist with the installation and set-up of a multiple monitor workstation.

 

Use Programs Simultaneously  

With two monitors, you can run multiple applications simultaneously. For example, you can have Quick Books open on one monitor, and have a Microsoft Excel worksheet open on the other. 

This is a huge advantage for users who typically work with multiple programs that require a large amount of workspace. Instead of having to press Alt + Tab to switch between programs, a user can have an entire screen dedicated to their primary application, while the other can be used for another program. 

Also, sharing data between applications can be much smoother. For example, if you are editing photos, moving images into programs like Photoshop is a breeze. Simply drag an image from the File Explorer on one screen, to your editing program of choice on the other. 

 

Increase in Communication

Having multiple monitors provides you with the opportunity to increase communication, both with your colleagues and your customers. Having one dedicated screen to monitor your incoming emails or social media ensures that an important update is never missed.   

This is a huge help if you monitor a support email or chat box feature on your website. The ability to always be notified of an incoming request will make you a customer service superstar! 

A dual monitor is also helpful for keeping up with your Fantasy Football Team or watching the newest trending cat video on YouTube, without getting too distracted. Come on, you know you’ve done it! 

 

Windows Integration

Windows 10 offers some new multi-monitor features, such as the ability to use different backgrounds on each monitor, span multiple screens with your background image, and multiple taskbars. This is a great way to get the most out of your Windows products and customize them for your specific needs.   

Some dual monitor benefits with Windows 10 include: 

  • More screen space for applications 
  • Easier desktop publishing 
  • Easier web development and video editing 

 

Braver Technology Solutions is happy to help you create the most productive and positive office environment possible through our customized hardware solutions. Please contact us for more information!  

 

Windows 10 Updates: What You Need To Know

The recent launch of the massive Microsoft Windows 10 Creators update isn’t the end of a process – it’s just the beginning. Microsoft has announced that it is looking at releasing updates 2 – 3 times a year. These updates are more of a rolling upgrade. Each new “release” brings a few performance updates, new applications, and new functionality. 

It is important to note that these updates are mandatory for Windows 10, and cannot be blocked or ignored like in the past.  What this means for you is that if you have purchased a Windows 10 device, expect more mandatory updates in the future. 

How The Updates Work 

 

Windows Patches

 

These are patches supplied by Microsoft to address (typically) security and product issues. These are released on “Patch Tuesday”, the second Tuesday of each month.
Our patch management tool has always supported these – that is what it is designed for.

Windows Updates / Upgrades

 

This is a new concept introduced with Windows 10. As Microsoft stated, “Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows”. Meaning that updates to the OS – new features, improvements, new applications will be released on a regular basis, but added to the OS rather than in new OS releases.

Before Windows 10, there was XP, then Vista, Windows 7, etc. These were clearly new versions of the OS – every 2 years Microsoft would release a new version – new name, new look, new everything. An upgrade typically required a physical visit to the machine with a DVD and you would run the installer.

With Windows 10, this has changed. Microsoft is looking at releasing updates 2 -3 times a year. These updates are more of a rolling upgrade. Each new “release” brings a few performance updates, maybe new applications, and new functionality.

In the Windows interface, these are presented via the “Updates & Security” tool, which typically shows the monthly patches, but in the event of a new update, will also display that. Although the same interface is used for patches and updates, these are different.

Since the release of Windows 10 (July 2015), there have been 6 versions, 1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709 and 1803 although they all carry the “Windows 10” name, they are new versions of windows – after an update, you will see that the entire windows directory has been backed up to c:\Windows.old. 

Our Patch Management Tool has never supported upgrading or updating from one Windows version to another – you cannot use the Patch Management module to move from Windows 7 to Windows 8, for example. Microsoft has also denied any patch management application (3rd party included) to stop these updates from being installed.

 

Our Recommendations For An Easy Update 

 

In the Windows interface, these updates are presented via the “Updates & Security” tool, which should present as a pop up on your screen

1. Perform A Backup 

 

Prior to performing an Operating System upgrade, we recommend saving any important files you are working on, as well as performing a backup. 

2. Prepare For Restart 

 

Just like any other update, your computer will automatically restart as a part of the update process. For this reason, it is especially important to perform the previous step before updating! 

 

3. Budget 2 Hours of Time 

 

The whole process takes anywhere between 45 minutes and 2 hours, so it is important that you can plan to be away from your workstation for that time. We recommend scheduling the update for a specific time when you will not need to access your workstation, like after business hours. 

As always, the team here at Braver wants to ensure that your computer products are running smoothly and effectively. If you need any assistance with current or future updates, please contact our support team. 

Windows Server 2008 End of Support Is Here

What does this mean for your business?

 

If you are a Windows customer, we want to remind you that Extended Support for Windows Server 2003 has ended as of July 14, 2015, and Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 will be ending January 14, 2020.

Prior to July 14, 2015, Windows Server 2003 users that required support would be charged a premium from Microsoft for issues and support tickets. Now that Extended Support has ended, Microsoft will no longer support any issues or tickets for Windows Server 2003.

It is important to ensure that your business is protected, which will become more difficult without security updates, higher maintenance costs, and compliance concerns. Braver Technology Solutions support for Windows Server 2003 may not be covered under your Level 1 Priority contract. 

From now until January 14, 2020, Windows Server 2008 users that require support will be charged a premium from Microsoft for issues and support tickets. Once Extended Support ends, Microsoft will no longer support any issues or tickets for Windows Server 2008.

Braver Technology Solutions can make the upgrading process easy and keep you well protected. We have multiple solutions for your business to limit disruption and deliver the latest features and benefits from Windows.

Contact us today to upgrade with minimal interruption to your business.