One year to go until Microsoft ends extended support for Windows 7

One year to go until Microsoft ends extended support for Windows 7

One of the Microsoft’s most loved operating systems, Windows 7, has extended support close to ending. On 14 January 2020, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates and will stop providing assistance those using Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

NetMarketShare (link opens in new window) reports that as of December 2018, 40.86% are still using Windows 7, with Windows 10 close behind on 36.37%. 5.07% are running Windows 8.1.

Introduced nearly 10 years ago, Windows 7 improved on existing versions of Windows including Windows XP and Windows Vista. Microsoft also added many new features we are now take for granted, including touch capabilities, and others we have become more comfortable with, including Libraries in File Explorer.

According to the Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet (link opens in new window), mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on 13 January 2015, with extended support ending 14 January 2020. For users running Windows 8.1, support ended on 9 January 2018 with extended support for 10 January 2023.

Over the coming year, we suggest all computers running Windows 7 are upgraded to Windows 10 or replaced with new computers depending on their age and purpose. We are happy to assist clients and advise the most appropriate requirements for their needs.

If we can be of assistance to upgrading you from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and in need of consulting, support or training to help you make the move to a modern desktop, please contact us.

WordPress 5.0 has been released

WordPress 5.0 has been released

WordPress 5.0 'Bebo'

The latest version of WordPress, WordPress 5.0 ‘Bebo’ (known as “Gutenberg” during its development) has been released. For those unfamiliar, WordPress is a website content management system used by a majority of CyberGuru clients to build their websites. WordPress now powers 32% of the websites on the internet today, and in order to keep up with emerging trends, WordPress 5.0 has seen the largest upgrade to date on the platform.

Going from the current version of WordPress to the Gutenberg release is like changing from a manual car to an automatic. Just as an automatic car doesn’t look that different from a manual, websites in WordPress 5.0 won’t necessarily look vastly different from those using the current version of WordPress. However, the driving experience of automatic is substantially different from a manual and similarly the website design process is considerably more intuitive and user friendly in the Bebo release. Given the magnitude of this upgrade it is understandable that some plugins may not work and many websites may require tweaking to take full advantage of the upgrade.

The most significant change since the last major release some four years ago, is a block-based editor, similar to Divi and SiteOrigin Page Builder where editable content, such as text boxes, images and other items, can be added as simply as adding a block and modifying these. This is a large change from what was previously generally editing similar to a Word document. According to WordPress, they plan to continue to support the “Classic Editor” until at least 2021.

Another change is the frequency of updates. WordPress have proposed minor WordPress release twice a month. Further information is yet to be shared by WordPress, but we understand that these will be focused on improvements and bug fixes.

As it is nearly time here for Christmas (Summer) holidays, we recommend that our clients postpone upgrading until this can be reviewed closely in the new year. It is likely that there will be issues with possibly a theme, plugin or translation that may cause the upgrade to not go as planned. As with any new release, there is a likelihood of bugs and other issues to present itself themselves. It is anticipated that as an increasing number of websites begin to use the new version, these will be identified and resolved. Waiting until the new year will hopefully reduce the issues and be more stable and reliable.

We suggest having a working backup and testing the website prior to changing over to identify potential issues. We will be working with our clients to discuss how best to plan and manage this for their particular circumstances in the new year and identify a suitable time to upgrade.

We do not recommend taking this upgrade lightly. If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact us.

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Holy Christmas

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Holy Christmas

Christmas 2018

As another year draws to a close, CyberGuru would like to wish you and yours a happy and Holy Christmas.

2018 has been another exciting year for CyberGuru as we continue to enable, educate and empower our clients through the use of information, communication and technology (ICT). We appreciate the custom of our clients for entrusting us with your ICT needs and requirements throughout the year.

CyberGuru will be closed from Friday 21 December 2018 and will reopen on Monday 7 January 2019. During this time, we will not be available by phone or email however we will provide details of a trusted colleague to our clients should you require any emergency assistance.

If you have any ICT requirements to be completed before this time or prior to our return, please contact us as soon as possible to ensure it is attended to prior to our departure.

In lieu of paper Christmas cards, we are continuing our longstanding tradition of donating to the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal.

We look forward to supporting you again next year.

Looking after your IT over Christmas

Looking after your IT over Christmas

Looking after your IT over Christmas

Christmas is coming and it will soon be time for holidays. But before you head off on that well-deserved break here are three important IT safety tips.

  1. Perform a backup and bring home a copy with you. Data is increasingly essential to businesses and you cannot afford the downtime associated with its loss. Backup all your data including files, email, settings and even your website. Make at least two copies and bring one home with you, so if something happens to your office while you are on holidays you have another copy.
  2. Unplug all non-essential equipment. Summer is storm season and the best way to protect against surges is ensure your equipment is not plugged in. Some ISPs recommend leaving your modem plugged in, but CyberGuru would suggest that you disconnect your server, computers and other devices connected to mains power. Ideally over summer you may also wish to consider an Uninterruptable Power Supply in case your power is distributed due to electrical or weather conditions.
  3. Undertake maintenance so your devices will be running optimally in 2019. Ensure you have a working backup by testing whether you can successfully restore a file, remove or archive old documents and photos from your computer, confirm all recent updates have been applied including website updates, tidy your email inbox and then set up your automatic reply so every knows you are out of the office!

Everyone loves Christmas, especially scammers. So whether you’re checking emails or taking advantage of the online sales, remember to stay safe online.