Intel delay: Update an old Windows 7 PC, or buy AMD

The shortage of Intel processors is having a knock-on effect on IT’s ability to upgrade whatever legacy Windows 7 PCs still remain in the organisation onto new Windows 10 hardware.

At the time of writing, Microsoft said there were no plans to delay the end of support for Windows 7. “We have been partnering closely with our OEMs to prepare,” it told Computer Weekly.

However, the supply shortage of Intel powered PCs through the channel to business customers has led to concern about planned shipments.

From Computer Weekly’s understanding of the situation, it seems the PC channel has prioritised orders that are for Windows 10 upgrades. This has been happening since the start of 2019, and so far, the demand and prioritisation has meant that any of the big planned rollouts appear to be continuing. Burt smaller rollouts, or new orders are being impacted,

Upgrading older PCs

While some Windows 7 PCs can be updated to Windows 10, these PCs tend to be a few years old, and close to the time they would naturally be retired. Updating them now, not only has the potential to make them unstable and run slower, but the time and expense of the update would be lost, if the machine is replaced in six months or so, when the Intel supply is set to return to normal.

A recent freedom of information submitted by Citrix to NHS trusts, reported that half of trusts are running Windows 7 machines. Similarly, there are reports on the internet suggesting that 1800 HMRC PCs are still on Windows 7.

As Computer Weekly has previously reported, some PC channel companies have been told by manufacturers to prioritise shipments relating to Windows 7 end of support.

But inevitably, some organisations will find they need new PC desktop and notebook equipment. One PC channel organisation Computer Weekly spoke to said: “We can’t give an assurance on new orders being here in the next six weeks – so it’s more impacting people that haven’t planned ahead or have relatively small requirements, as they’re hitting the back of the queue.”

Analyst Gartner has recommended that IT managers desperate to source new business PCs as part of their Windows 10 refresh, purchase AMD-powered hardware. Lenovo, for instance, says it has a wide selection of AMD-based ThinkPads available via the channel to suit the varying needs of business from SMBs through to enterprise and the public sector.

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