Microsoft Windows has been around since 1985, and it’s still one of the most widely used operating systems today. Whether you are a company helping people choose between EDR v/s XDR or an MNC, or part of any other industry, chances are you use at least one Microsoft Windows product daily. Although the latest versions of Windows have added features like touchscreen support and even the option to run Linux applications, many people are still using older versions on their computers in the workplace or at home. For businesses that want to maximise their efficiency with an older operating system, here are 10 ways you can use Microsoft Windows to boost your business.
10 Ways to Use Microsoft Windows to Boost Your Business
1) Homegroup Creates a Local Network
The Homegroup feature creates a mini network within your home. You can create a Homegroup on any computer running Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 7, and then add other computers that run Windows 7 as well. The good news is that you don’t need to buy an expensive router or any wireless devices in order to share printers between computers. Once you set up a Homegroup, each computer will be able to easily see all of the printers connected on other computers with little setup required from either party. To take advantage of these features, simply make sure your printer is connected wirelessly and open its Properties window from Start Devices and Printers Right-click Printer name Printer Properties.
2) P2P Technology
Using peer-to-peer technology will help you connect with new customers and employees, keep your data secure and streamline your business communications. The open-source software industry is full of useful, easy-to-use programs.
3) Remote Access / Virtual Private Network (VPN)
No matter where you are, with a VPN by your side, you’ll never have to go without access to your home office again. With a VPN, all you need is an internet connection and you can virtually teleport yourself into any office in the world. You can even schedule regular check-ins with co-workers as if you were right there in person.
4) Cloud Computing
The cloud is one of today’s hottest buzzwords, but it shouldn’t be relegated solely to tech geeks. Cloud computing lets you work from anywhere on any device. There are tons of different services for business that can help make your life easier, and getting started with cloud computing is easy—just start with basic things like email or shared calendars and keep moving into other areas as time goes on. For example, Google Docs is a great way to collaborate on documents or spreadsheets in real time and Dropbox makes file sharing effortless between computers and mobile devices (also try Box). The key thing to remember when using cloud services is that they enable you to do more with less by making it easy for people in your organisation to stay up-to-date.
5) Intranet & Extranet Security
Since an intranet is accessible only within your organisation, it makes sense that its security is designed differently than an extranet. Intranets allow employees to share information and collaborate with one another in a secure setting, while still maintaining privacy.
6) Digital Signatures/Encryption
With encryption, you can protect your sensitive data and ensure that only authorised users can access it. Using digital signatures, you can prove that any electronic message or document came from you—so if anyone tries to dispute who created a document or sent an email, you’ll have proof. Using both of these in tandem is even better because they provide two levels of protection: Encryption protects your data while in transit and at rest, while digital signatures keep people from forging emails or documents that could harm your reputation or business relationships.
7) Group Policy Objects (GPOs) – Centralised Management & Control
GPOs let you make changes that affect every user, computer or application throughout your entire organisation. You can enforce a desktop theme across every PC, install new programs across your company or even enable / disable protocols like file and printer sharing for computers across your company. GPOs are incredibly powerful. A good place to start is by using Group Policy Management Editor (GPME), which allows you to manage GPOs without having access to Server Administration tools.
8) Internet Connectivity Tools
Most business professionals now use Internet connectivity tools on a daily basis. From email and video calls to web-based collaboration, cloud storage, and even social media, our virtual lives are much more connected than ever before. If you want your business to be able to operate at its most efficient level, it’s important that you have the right tools for every job — and that means proper Internet connectivity.
9) Easy & Free Productivity Software
When your time is money, a little help from your software can go a long way. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay top dollar for high-quality applications—there are free and open source alternatives out there that will get the job done at no cost. With a little bit of elbow grease and tech know-how, you can use these open source tools to ensure you stay productive on a budget. As an added bonus, open source applications usually come with more features than their proprietary counterparts.
10) Antivirus Protection
You don’t want your business to be another data breach statistic. That’s why it’s imperative that you protect your computer and its hard drive by using antivirus software. Free antivirus tools can do the trick, but for added protection, consider purchasing a small business version of an antivirus program, which will come with additional features such as firewalls, email protection and more. It may seem like overkill for a one-person startup or a side hustle—but if it’s valuable information you’re safeguarding, your peace of mind is worth it.