Windows 10 operating system
Image Courtesy: PCWorld.com

The United Kingdom NHS (National Health Service) is still highly dependent on Windows 7, but things will change soon as the organization will be finally upgrading to Windows 10. In February, we reported that the NHS has only 1 percent and 3 percent of its systems on Windows 10 but it appears that the organization is ready to upgrade all of its systems to Microsoft’s latest OS.

While Microsoft is still releasing updates and security patches for Windows 7, the operating system is not as secure as Windows 10 and it will also reach the end of life in January 2020. Needless to say, there are a couple of reasons why the NHS should migrate to Windows 10 as soon as possible.

First and foremost, Windows 7 will no longer receive any updates and patches in 2020. Considering that NHS is a big organization, it needs more time to complete the upgrade to Windows 10 operating system and work with Microsoft to deal with the possible bugs. NHS is expected to accelerate the migration to Windows 10 in near future.

“We know cyber attacks are a growing threat, so it is vital our health and care organisations have secure systems which patients trust,” Jeremy Hunt, the Health and Social Care Secretary said.

Windows 7 has already caused major trouble to the NHS previously, and it certainly makes sense for the organization to upgrade to Windows 10. Needless to say, the migration process is complex as the organization could be using software incompatible with Microsoft’s platform.

Windows 10 is more secure than Windows 7, and Microsoft’s latest desktop OS was immune to the WannaCry attacks.

“We have been building the capability of NHS systems over a number of years, but there is always more to do to future-proof our NHS as far as reasonably possible against this threat. This new technology will ensure the NHS can use the latest and most resilient software available – something the public rightly expect,” he added.

Earlier this year, DH reported that 1 percent systems used by acute trusts and 3 percent used by mental health trusts are running Windows 10. Windows 7 is on 74 percent and 76 percent of the systems respectively.

NHS has already confirmed that it’ll complete the upgrade to Windows 10 before the end of support lands for Windows 7. The organization is working with Microsoft to reduce compatibility issues. Judging from the cooperation between Microsoft and NHS, there’s a chance that the migration will complete before the deadline and fewer challenges will be encountered.

  • Peter

    So, does that mean they will upgrade our new aircraft carriers too? They apparently are still running Windows XP, and god knows what OS they will install on yet to be built Dreadnought nuclear submarines, probably XP too!

    • Kevin Robinson

      Yes that is exactly that that means

      The US Department of Defense (DoD) is launching a plan to standardize the operating systems across the entire agency by upgrading approximately “4 million devices and systems” to Windows 10 by February 2017.
      Windows 10 deployments will start immediately, according to a blog post published by Microsoft yesterday, which also says that “this is an unprecedented move for the DoD and the largest enterprise deployment of Windows 10 to date.”

      • Peter

        Sorry, I was referring to the UK government which is my government. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) needs to ensure that the systems for these big expensive pieces of equipment are secure and up-to-date. I would hate to hear that our new nuclear deterrence still runs on a 17 year old OS! Though it’s good to hear that the US government has made a pledge to upgrade their systems.

        • Kevin Robinson

          Hi Peter – I am sure they are upgrading all those as well in the UK – anything running Xp or Windows 7. The risk is simply not worth it and in the case of the United States there is no excuse because the IT budget is almost a billion dollars a year.

          • Peter

            I agree with you, everyone needs to stay away from a old insecure OS (especially if it’s hooked up to critical infrastructure). Unfortunately, sometimes companies and governments are not willing to rewrite existing software to work on modern OS platforms due to cost. There have been occasions where companies wanted to upgrade existing machines to a modern Windows version, only to find that their existing software, written for Windows 9x machines would not work once upgrades were completed.