Posted June 23, 2022 by Nathan N.
Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 Operating Systems
If you currently have computers running Windows 8.1 or if your server is running Windows Server 2012 it is time to start thinking about replacing or upgrading. Microsoft is ending extended support for Windows 8.1 in January 2023 and Windows Server 2012 in October 2023, bringing both to End-Of-Life status.
What does it mean when an operating system is End-of-Life?
End of Life status means Microsoft will no longer develop patches or fixes for any newly discovered bugs or security vulnerabilities within this version of the software nor will they provide technical support. When operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft, other software developers, such as practice management developers, will stop building and testing in unsupported operating systems.
How does running an end-of-life operating system affect my business?
When an operating system is no longer receiving security updates, exploitable vulnerabilities will likely emerge and could create a security risk for your business. In addition, you may be unable to install newer versions of other software programs on computers running an unsupported operating system.
How long do business computers normally last?
Every single piece of hardware inside a PC will have its own average lifetime, but in general a PC will last anywhere from 5-7 years. As computers age, components will start to wear out and could leave you with unexpected down-time. Components can be replaced but keep in mind that as your computer ages, the more difficult it can become to find an available or compatible replacement part. We recommend practices begin planning for computer replacement when systems start to approach the 5-year mark. Some of our practices choose to stagger computer replacements to minimize the impact on their budget.
New computers are not in the budget this year, do I have any options?
Depending on your hardware compatibility, you may be able to upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Keep in mind that some hardware is not compatible with Windows 10 and is unlikely to be compatible with Windows 11 (released October 2021). If your computer was manufactured in the last decade, it may be able to be upgraded to Windows 10. It is recommended, though, to check the manufacturers’ website(s) to verify the models of your system’s motherboard, CPU, and GPU are compatible with and supported on Windows 10.
I am interested in upgrading to Windows 11, is there anything I should know?
XLDent practice management software is compatible with Windows 11. However, there are some manufacturers, x-ray manufacturers in particular, that are still testing compatibility with Windows 11 and at the time of this post have not guaranteed full functionality of their devices with this operating system. We recommend purchasing computers based on Windows 11 specifications https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications and installing Windows 10 on computers running software or hardware that is not yet cleared for use with Windows 11. Computers running Windows 10 can be upgraded to Windows 11 once connected devices are compatible with Windows 11. There is currently no charge to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11.
All my computers are using Windows 10, is there anything I need to know?
Windows 10 End of Life is October 2025. Microsoft has provided a tool to let you know if your computer can run Windows 11 and if not, will provide information about incompatibility. It can be downloaded from the official Microsoft site here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11#pchealthcheck.
I would like to start planning for a future upgrade, what are my next steps?
XLDent’s hardware team has over 50 combined years of experience and is happy to help provide you with a free assessment of your systems and make recommendations for future changes. Contact us today to get started.