What is Windows 11?
Microsoft regularly updates their operating system and Windows 11 is their latest offering. Windows 10 was released in July 2015, and before that, we saw Windows 8 and 7, etc. As technology and requirements evolve as does the need for the operating system for your PCs and laptops. Windows 11 is the first version released whereby a new license is not required, it is a free update to your existing version. A bit like Apple and Android phones regularly sending updates to your devices that improve the functionality and security of the operating system.
Is Windows 10 redundant and should I update straightaway?
The simple answer is NO. Windows 10 will continue to be supported by Microsoft until 2025. Allowing a 4-year crossover between Windows 10 and Windows 11. This means that support and security updates will be rolled out to users as normal for this period. Windows 10 is not redundant and can continue to be used without any disruption until such time your organisation decides the time is right to update. As the saying goes if it’s not broken – don’t fix it!
Audit of Existing software and hardware?
Within your business, you are likely to use several third-party software packages, such as accounting packages, CRM’s, auditing, procurement, and monitoring programs. It is important to understand how each of these interacts with the operating system, Windows 11. Just because Microsoft has released Windows 11 and carried out internal extensive testing, it does not mean that these third-party offerings have had the opportunity to ensure they will continue to work as expected. Code and commands in the programming may need to be amended and changed to suit the requirements of Windows 11, which is likely to be rolled out by third parties in time. Without a full understanding of the packages used and what is required in terms of processing, it could potentially cause a huge issue and remove access to your data.
Similarly, hardware is not automatically going to be compatible, whilst new machines are likely to have the processing power and memory to run Windows 11, it is highly recommended that each individual machine including printers, scanners, and copiers are audited to ensure they will continue to work as expected. As Windows 10 is supported for a further 4-years, we can identify which machines will operate as normal and which ones may need to be updated over this period. For example, if you have a laptop that is 3 years old but not compatible, it makes sense to wait until the end of its life before purchasing a new one, rather than simply upgrading the laptop now, when Windows 10 will still work.
What can happen if updated without support from MPR IT
Updating to Windows 11, without a full audit of your software and hardware, could potentially become costly. Not only because you will find that some devices and software packages will not work immediately, but also because you may not be able to operate as normal and your employees may struggle to complete tasks. This can affect your business in the long term, with orders not being processed in time and customers looking elsewhere, whilst the issue is fixed.
With a varying speed on the update to Windows 11, planning the rollout across your business is important to minimalise downtime during the update. This will avoid all devices being updated at once and having no employees able to carry out any business tasks.
Planned update with support from MPR IT
Our team has the experience and knowledge to understand the requirements of devices and software packages, to identify what can and more importantly, cannot be updated to Windows 11. Liaising with you, we can strategically plan the project to ensure minimum downtime for each device, user, department, and company as a whole. The project can be planned to allow for any future upgrades of devices over the next 4 years, to ensure minimum outlay is required. Historically, with the update to Windows 10, we had the experience of businesses updating to the new operating system without expert assistance, causing work to stop as devices and some software programs were incompatible. This meant that in addition to new devices needing to be purchased and installed, the day-to-day business could not continue. Not to mention the cost of calling in expert advice without an agreed SLA.
MPR Testing Windows 11
MPR IT Solutions are currently carrying out internal testing of the new operating system and its compatibility with our own third-party software packages, such as antivirus, monitoring, CRM, and Accounts application. This will ensure that when we make the right decision to upgrade all our own devices, we can continue to support our clients.
As part of this testing, we have identified that in terms of general use Windows 11 does have some different functionalities compared to Windows 10, which once used for a little while, the end-user can adjust quite easily. Right-hand click menus on your mouse have changed and you are now shown icons as opposed to words for actions, such as copy and paste. Overall the general feel for the operating system is very simple to use.
We have also identified that the incorporated Microsoft Teams will only link to a personal account and not a business or educational account. This is likely to cause initial confusion, as you will not be able to log in to your work Teams account, without some minor alterations made by one of our engineers in the setup.
Moving forward, it is expected that as with any operating system, Windows 11 will be regularly updated for security patches and functionality. This is not unusual and will have minimum effect on the day-to-day running.
Contact us for further information
To discuss arranging an audit of your network for compatibility to Windows 11, and an agreed project plan to update your systems please contact our Sales & Account Management Team on 0800 030 20 30 or via email email@example.comRead more
by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, Audit Reviews, Back up solutions, cybercrime, Data Loss Prevention, Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Microsoft 365, MPR IT Work, Office 2007, Office 365, Outlook 2007, Password Security, Ransomware, Remote working, Risk management, SaaS Protection, Security Policies, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012
At the end of every working day, you ensure your workplace is secure with windows and doors closed, an alarm set and CCTV in place. So why don’t businesses consider that protecting their IT network is just as important? Many businesses are of the opinion that it wont happen to them – when actually the statistics show it probably will.
- Globally 30,000 websites are hacked daily
- 64% of companies have experienced some form of cyber attack
- 75 records are lost every second of the day
- 94% of malware is spread through email
- 24,000 apps are detected on the internet daily
- 300,000 pieces of new malware are created daily
- 70% businesses that experience large data loss will go out of business within 1 year.
According to Government statistics on cyber security breaches, approximately 54% of businesses are now seeking information and guidance on cyber security. That leaves 46% that are not taking this seriously.
Business Continuity Plans often only investigate if the building is inaccessible and as we have all experienced in the last 12 months this can be solved. BUT if your network is compromised, your staff cannot even do that. You will most likely be locked out of the entire network and in turn, need to consider these points:
- No access to data
- All records potentially lost
- All data potentially sold on the dark net
- Held to ransom running into hundreds of thousands of pounds
- Potential law suits
- Large fines for breach of compliance
- Staff unable to work
- Loss of revenue
- Extremely unhappy customers
Do businesses survive data loss?
Vulnerabilities in your network such as out dated hardware and operating systems put your business at risk and recent reports show that it could cost your business upwards of £1miilion in ransom, fines, legal fees, loss of revenue and IT Support to get your business back up and running if your suffer a data loss or network attack. It is expected that 70% of businesses that experience a large data loss will go out of business within a year. If your network is vulnerable so is your business.
With the increase in threat from ransomware, phishing, DDOS and scams, the market for products in cyber security is wide and ranging. MPR IT Solutions invest time in researching the market and carrying out in-depth training to find the best products available, so you don’t have to.
Contact our team today to discuss your Network security and how we can support your business to reduce the risk – 0800 030 20 30.Read more
by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, Audit Reviews, Back up solutions, cybercrime, Data Loss Prevention, Disaster Planning, Disaster Recovery, General, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Microsoft 365, Password Security, Ransomware, Remote working, Risk management, SaaS Protection, Security Policies, Software, Uncategorised, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012
By 2022 it is estimated that 70% of organisations will have suffered a business disruption due to unrecoverable data loss in a SaaS application.
More and more businesses are using SaaS (Software as a Service) such as Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) it is often assumed that your data is backed up automatically and that these providers will hold all your data, BUT this is not the case. For example Microsoft state the following in their Service Level Agreement (SLA):
“Microsoft is not liable for data loss due to application outages, it is also not liable for data loss due to deprovisioned user accounts.
We recommend that you regularly backup your Content and Data that you store on the services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”
MPR IT Solutions invests time and resources to research the Technology market for all of our products and services to establish the best market offerings for our customers, so that you don’t need to.
Datto Saas Protection is a solution that will fit a large proportion of businesses using cloud platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).
70% of businesses that experience a large data loss will go out of business within a year. By implementing a back up solution today, you will minimise your risk.
Contact us on 0800 030 20 30 to discuss your options today.Read more
by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, Audio Systems, broadband, CCTV, cybercrime, Disaster Planning, DNS Web Hosting, Domain Registration, Engineers, Exclaimer Cloud, fibre optics, Fire Alarms, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, MPR, MPR IT Work, New customer, Office 365, Office Move, Password Security, Point to Point Wireless, Ransomware, Remote working, Server cabinet, Software, SQL Server, SSL Certificates, Structured Cabling, Training, TV Distribution, Web Hosting, Websites, Windows 10, Wireless networks
“What does IT Support look like to you?”
Often the simple answer is a helpdesk offering daily support to end users in a fast and reliable manner.
When considering your business as a whole, IT Support is usually much more complex. Have you considered these areas?
- Who looks after your phone system?
- Who provides your internet connection and leased lines?
- Where is your website domain registered and hosted?
- Do you have malware and anti-virus software?
- Is your office using a Wi-Fi network? Who maintains this?
- Where do you purchase new hardware? Is it under warranty and how do you manage an upgrade programme?
- Are your servers on site or are they cloud based? How are these monitored and supported?
If I was to ask the question again “What does IT Support look like to you?” Would the answer be the same? The chances are that answer has changed.
By choosing MPR IT Solutions, you can be assured that your business will benefit from all-round comprehensive support in all information technology aspects. With a dedicated Account Manager, simple straightforward invoicing and only one point of contact for any technical issues, MPR IT Solutions provides fast, effective and reliable IT Support to businesses throughout London and the South East. Working in partnership with our clients we believe enhances our understanding of their business needs and we always look to find the best and most effective solution. Our core products and services include (but not limited to);
- Comprehensive IT Systems Support
- Hosted/ Voip Telephones
- Website domain registration and hosting
- Internet connections and Leased Lines
- Wi Fi Networks
- Azure Server Support
- Office 365 & Microsoft Teams
- AEM Monitoring
- Malware/Anti-virus software
- Hardware purchasing and upgrade plans
- Security Awareness Training (SATT)
- Email Signature Management
Through the growth and continued development of MPR IT Solutions and increasing demands from clients, our sister company MPR Technical Services was born in 2019. A Technical Services Integrator, their highly experienced and qualified employees provide advice, design and installation services in residential and commercial developments.
MPR Technical Services and MPR IT Solutions will work together for larger projects, as necessary. With a collaborative relationship you can be assured of strong communication and enhanced understanding of the work carried out and on-going support required.
Extended Services through MPR Technical Services:
- Structured Cabling
- Wireless Networks
- Audio Visual and Digital IPTV Systems
- Electronic Security
- Office re-locations
For more information on the products and services from MPR IT Solutions contact our team today on 0800 030 20 30 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgRead more
Microsoft will be ending support and updates for two of their platforms in 2020. If you are currently using either Office 2010 or Windows 7, it is important to consider your options now.
Microsoft have recently announced that support for Office 2010 will be ending on 13th October 2020. This means that from this date there will be no further extension of updates on this package.
Whilst Office 2010 will still continue to function it does mean that you will be at risk of potentially harmful and serious security risks. We recommend that you look to upgrading to Microsoft Office 365 as a replacement.
MPR IT Solutions are an official Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partner and Small Business Specialist. This means we are trained in a number of Microsoft Competencies that directly relate to implementing, migrating and configuring your Office 365 solution. We have vast experience in migrating businesses over to Office 365 and ensure minimal disruption to your daily tasks.
Secondly support will be ending on 14 January 2020 for the operating system Windows 7. Available since 2009, there have been a number of updates since the launch, with the current recommended version Windows 10 now on the market. Please see our earlier blog explaining this.
If you are using Windows 7, either on a personal computer or at your business, now is the time to consider upgrading to Windows 10. However, before you make the move, it is imperative that you consider any 3rd party software programme installed on your pc/laptop and hardware such as printers, scanners etc. as these may not be compatible. You will also need to consider the hardware resources available, as Windows 10 is a powerful operating system and therefore requires a large amount of RAM installed.
Our team of experts can audit all of your software packages (e.g Sage) and hardware (e.g RAM, printers and scanners) to ensure these are compatible and where they may not be. To upgrade without taking this into consideration, you may find that it becomes time consuming and more costly to rectify the issues.
For more information and to discuss your options to upgrade either of these Microsoft products please contact our team on 0800 030 20 30 or email email@example.comRead more
Windows 7 software has been available since 2009, and Microsoft will be ending support for this on 14 January 2020. This means they will no longer provide any updates, patches or general support to the software. Whilst you will be able to continue to use this version of Windows, you will be vulnerable to security risks. With the constant threat of Cybercrime, it is vital that you consider the options available to upgrade to Windows 10.
If you are using Windows 7, either on a personal computer or at your business, now is the time to consider upgrading to Windows 10. However, before you make the move, it is imperative that you consider any 3rd party software programme installed on your pc/laptop and hardware such as printers, scanners etc. as these may not be compatible. You will also need to consider the hardware resources available, as Windows 10 is a powerful operating system and therefore requires a large amount of RAM installed. Our team of experts can audit all of your software packages (e.g Sage) and hardware (e.g RAM, printers and scanners) to ensure these are compatible and where they may not be. To upgrade without taking this into consideration, you may find that it becomes time consuming and more costly to rectify the issues.
Why Upgrade to Windows 10?
Windows 10 was released by Microsoft in July 2015, and is now one of the most common used pieces of software on the market. With many similarities to previous incarnations, it is very user friendly and easy to navigate with a number of enhanced functions.
- Cortana – Windows 10 comes with Cortana, a voice-activated personal assistant. Cortana can set reminders, inform you of the weather, search the internet and much more.
- Live tiles – Customisable, live tiles on Windows 10 allows you to have a personalised experience. Just about anything can become a tile, from websites to apps and the tiles can then be resized and moved around as required.
- Continuum – For a seamless user experience, Continuum lets you carry on working from desktop to tablet and back again. This helps to create a modern, flexible and fluid working style as expected by today’s workforce.
- OneDrive – OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage service which is built into Windows 10. It lets you sync files across PCs and OneDrive devices.
- BitLocker – BitLocker helps you keep your files safe while BitLocker Go gives you the same functionality while you’re on the move. It features:
- Sign in with face or fingerprint – a fast, secure way to sign in
- Lost or stolen device – remove confidential business information immediately
- Windows Information Protection – control how employees use business data
- Windows Defender Antivirus – protects you against malware threats
Windows 10 combines the Windows you already know and adds great improvements you’ll love. Technologies like InstantGo1 let you boot up and resume quickly. And Windows 10 has more built-in security features than ever to help protect against malicious software.
Contact our team today on 0800 030 20 30 option 2, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the requirements for upgrading to Windows 10.
Wanna Cry Cyber Attack – Over the last couple of years, I have spent several hours if not days reading articles on cyber crime and hacking as part of my role here at MPR IT. If you follow us on social media you will also see how this is a hot topic for us and we quite often post news stories of hacks and how you can protect yourselves, I have also written a few blogs on the subject (all of which can be found on our website). So, the breaking news on Friday and all over the weekend of the hack affecting over 150 countries around the world, with some 200,000 machines affected this wasn’t entirely a shock for me. All too often I see stories of both large corporations and small one person business being hit by hacking or ransomware.
As a company that takes pride in providing the best support and advice to our customers, our priority is prevention rather than cure, although we do unfortunately have experience on the cure as well. Our key guidelines for protecting your systems are pretty simple:
- Ensure you Operating System is the most current and up to date – Microsoft release patches and updates regularly. This particularly virus is targeted towards out of date, older systems. Please ensure your system is fully up to date. If you have any concerns please contact us and we can check this for you.
- Many virus’s are spread through email attachments – NEVER open anything from someone you don’t know or aren’t expecting. If you are unsure about an email or attachment, call MPR IT or the company where the attachment has come from and enquire as to whether it is legitimate.
- Ensure you permanently delete any emails with attachments that you do not need, or where you don’t know the sender.
- Make sure that you have an up to date Anti Virus – MPR IT can check this for you if you are unsure how up to date this is or if you don’t have anti-virus we can provide anti virus software to your company.
- NEVER share passwords with anyone and make sure that passwords you do have are always different. PASSWORD1 is surprisingly still a popular choice – it’s not a good idea as very easy to guess.
- Back up your data daily and store a copy off site securely as well on site. The worst that can happen if data is backed up is that you lose one days’ work, and not everything.
The virus ‘Wanna Cry’ that hit the world on Friday, and spread over the weekend is mainly targeted at Government departments. Where systems are older and the networks are very large, this allows it to spread so quickly, we are therefore not expecting for this to affect many of our customers, however please be assured that our team are prepared and ready to deal with any issues that you may experience.
To our customers with a contract that includes workstation monitoring, we have already rolled out emergency patches to any potentially affected machines. If you do not have a contract that includes workstation monitoring please contact us and we can look to update any patches or we can review your contract to include workstation monitoring should you wish.
Please take this simple advice and pass to your colleagues and get the message out on how to avoid potential cybecrime hacks and viruses. Hopefully one day soon I won’t be spending so much of my time reading articles on cybercrime.Read more
So Windows 10 launched over a month ago, and the majority of people who downloaded the free software, have had issues of some kind. Generally these issues stem from compatibility, that’s why we advise that you hold on installing Windows 10, until the bugs have been fixed.
We hope that in 6 months’ time, Windows 10 will be what it says on the box.
“It’s the windows you know, only better.”
Windows 10 is familiar and easy to use, and has lots of similarities to windows 7, like the smart menu. It starts up and resumes fast, and has more built in security for your safety.
“Windows 10 combines the strengths of Windows 8, with Windows 7”
Microsoft Edge lets you move quickly from browsing to doing. Write or type notes directly onto web pages and share them with others. With Cortana enabled you can highlight an unfamiliar term to get a contextual explanation that doesn’t take you away from where you are.
Get done faster by better managing your desktop. Snap up to 4 things on one screen at the same time and create virtual desktops whenever you need more space or want to group things by project, like office apps for work, and games for play.
“It’s what windows 8 should have been”
Windows 10 for Home is great, it just seems to work for personal use. It has Xbox one integration, so you can play your Xbox on your laptop if you can’t get to the T.V. The Microsoft app store is wonderfully new. The start button is great, it is a mixture of Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Now onto some of the not so great things about windows 10.
The majority of our customers that have downloaded Windows 10, have had issues. Microsoft has not tested Windows 10 compatibility with every software, because well that’s impossible.
If you have a bespoke piece of software, you have no hope at the moment. Windows 10 does not currently work with other software programmes like Sage and Act. There have been some issues with graphic drivers not working correctly with NVidea.
We have also had a customer that downloaded Windows 10 at home, it took all night to complete, but it had not installed onto the PC, and the PC was still running Windows 8.
Some other issues we have noticed are:
- Processing some RAW images in Photoshop slowed the computer down to a snail’s pace.
- Windows 10 did not recognise a network printer that Windows 8 had been using.
- When trying to print a webpage in chrome, the tab would crash
- A mouse had to be unplugged and re plugged before it would work.
- You have to pay for the ‘premium’ version of solitaire, which basically means you’re paying to not see ads after every match.
In the future Windows 10 will be a great and powerful option for people to have at home or at the office, but we advise for the time being, do not download Windows 10. Not until the bugs are fixed and everything has been smoothed out. Also, when you do go to download Windows 10, let us advice you to make sure you have the right specifications, and compatibility to run it – It’s what we are here for.Read more
So the new Windows 10 has launched and we have been looking at some of the features it offers on a lighter note rather than the boring techy stuff we normally do. Here is how you can interact with your device however you want.
Touch, Type, Write or Speak: the choice is yours, so you can use whatever works best for what you’re doing.
Do things like write on a web page, swipe through your photos and snap apps into place.
When you need to get more done, use your keyboard or the touch keyboard on devices with touch
Use a pen to draw naturally, or add notes to files, sign documents, or play around with art apps
Cortana’s got plenty of sass. When being asked questions, Cortana’s answers may come of a surprise, for example:
“Who’s your daddy?”
Technically speaking that’d be Bill Gates. No big deal.
“What do you think of surface?”
In a sea of tablets there is only one that rises to the surface.
“Who’s better, Google Now or Cortana?”
My name is a lot less bossy.
“Beam me up scotty”
Aye, Aye, Captain.
“Tell me a joke”
Why did the hipster burn his mouth on his coffee? Because he drank it before it was cool.
“Sing me a song”
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do.
“Can I change your name?”
What if I started calling you Thumbs? Let’s stick with what we’ve got.
“How do I look today?”
What, are you kidding me? You’re a knockout!
“What do you look like?”
So do you think Cortana will be better than Apples Siri? Let the contest begin.