Year-End Checklist: Licenses and Employee Permissions

It’s that time of year again! Make sure you’re not spending money on unnecessary licenses, and ensure that all of your employees only have access to data they need.

A variety of new cloud products are available to fit your workforce better than ever before. Frontline and outside sales workers can collaborate with the rest of the group through Microsoft F3, while we can meet your demands for modern productivity and security with Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

If you need any guidance, RWA is here to help.

Windows 10 End-of-Support: October 14th, 2025

Several months ago, Microsoft announced the planed end-of-support date for Windows 10.

When Microsoft originally announced their plans to end support for Windows 7, most computers that supported Windows Vista and Windows 7 could also be upgraded to Windows 10. However, with Windows 11, Microsoft now has new hardware requirements that support Zero Trust networking and far more resilient protections that simply can’t be offered on hardware that doesn’t support TPM 2.0.

Contact RWA to start planning for hardware upgrades and Zero Trust networking for your business and employees. While more than 3 years seem like plenty of time – we’re currently looking at a 6 month backlog for most popular PCs, laptops, and monitors, we expect supply chains problems to continue well through 2022, and every other business on the planet will also look to upgrade their hardware… especially as the end of support date gets closer.

Your next PC will spend a lot of time parked on one of these, waiting for a spot to open up at the docks.

Security Improvements in Windows 11

Microsoft’s newest operating system only runs on new computers, typically those built on or after 2019. The core reason for this is simple: Windows 11 provides a full slate of new security features that protects your data and business from the rapidly escalating danger posed by cyberattacks.

Traditionally, Windows has been a general purpose operating system. Your business had nearly complete control of software, configurability, and security. Contrast this to your typical cellular phone running on a carrier network – locked down, restricted to apps approved by Google and Microsoft, not customizable. In practice, Windows 11 will take a middle ground approach – while you can still install other operating systems on your hardware, Windows 11 will only boot up if the motherboard and operating system verifies that everything is secure and intact. While it is possible to run Windows without this, you’ll be locked out of protected data and applications, the same way a modern DVD player might reject a bootleg video purchased at a foreign airport.

With this new foundation, Windows 11 is also able to take advantage of new processor and virtualization features. It’s now possible for a Medical EMR or Financial System application to completely reject access from other processes on the the computer, effectively blocking the ability for private and secure data to leak through untrustworthy software. Malware and ransomware can no longer completely hijack a computer and motherboard unless an administrator disables protection. Even the traditional concept of a system administrator with full access – a classic and social point of vulnerability – is mitigated through a new concept in: Zero Trust Security

We strongly recommend Windows 11 for all of our Medical Practices and Financial Services clients. If you’d like to learn more, or to schedule a complimentary Network Assessment, please reach out to RWA today.

Improved Accessibility in Windows 11

As technology platforms stabilize after decades of constant, compatibility-breaking evolution, one fortunate result is the development and adoption of new accessibility technologies. One prominent example has been Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller, configurable set of devices explicitly designed to expand and help meet the needs of gamers with mobility and disability issues.

The Adaptive Controller has been a fantastic platform to test and develop new features for the broader global community that uses Windows in business. When your business combine these features in Windows 11 with best-in-class on-premises and cloud support from Ronald Walker Associates, you’ll be better able to incorporate contributions from across your entire organization.

Windows Voice Typing

One notable advancement uses artificial intelligence to recognize speech, transcribe, and automatically punctuate. Windows Voice Typing can provide substantial assistance to people with chronic pain, severe arthritis, repetitive stress injuries, cerebral palsy, and mobility related disabilities. It can also be used to assist language learners in gaining English proficiency.

Multi-Platform Accessbility

Windows 11 includes a Linux subsystem and will also start supporting Android applications. Accessibility features in Windows 11 will now work closely with these non-native apps, and also provide significantly better support across a number of virtualization platforms.

New Control Panel and More

For additional information, visit the Windows 11 blog.

Windows 11 Arrives October 5th

Over the next few weeks, RWA will provide a preview of new features, security improvements, and more in Microsoft’s latest upgrade to the Windows operating system.

If you’re interested in Windows 11 and would like to know if your computers are ready to support it, please reach out and schedule a complimentary Network Assessment today.

Windows 11 will require Secure Boot and up-to-date processors and security hardware modules. If your computer is not compatible, it will not upgrade to Windows 11, and you will not receive additional protection against malware, ransomware, and rootkit attacks. We will strongly recommend the Windows 11 for all of medical and financial services clients.

For home users, keep an eye out for notifications from Windows 10 about the upgrade, as Microsoft will slowly roll out to new system over several months.

As always, feel free to reach out to RWA with questions about Windows 11 or any other Information Technology topics.

Keeping Up With Supported Versions of Windows Desktop and Server

It has been just over one year since Windows 7 reached end-of-life status. For security reasons, use of these outdated computers – as well as servers still running Windows Server 2008 – is highly discouraged. Several high-profile cybersecurity incidents at the end of 2020 illustrated that these devices are not only vulnerable to attacks from the internet, but attacks from compromised devices and people inside your own networks as well.  

If you are unsure about the support status of workstations currently connected to your network, please contact RWA today for a network assessment. We will scan your server and all other devices for non-compliant software and equipment, then put together a plan to bring everything up to date.  

Thanks to the cloud, there are now several options we can pursue when it comes to updating Windows 10 and keeping your environment secure. 

Seems like only yesterday…

Microsoft 365 Business Premium 

For businesses with less than 300 employees, Microsoft 365 Business Premium comes with a Windows 10 upgrade entitlement for any operating system still running Windows 7. This bundle also includes Microsoft Endpoint Manager, the traditional Office 365 application suite, E-mail, Web Apps, and Microsoft Teams.  

Windows 10 Retail 

While the free upgrade offer for Windows 10 is officially over, you can still purchase Windows 10 Professional for $200. If you have Windows 10 Home and need to upgrade to Windows 10 Professional, the upgrade cost is typically $100. 

Windows 10 Enterprise 

This full-featured version of Windows includes several features that are particularly important for supporting IT needs of large organizations – including detection of unique, targeted threats – but will require additional server software, configuration, and enterprise licenses to take full advantage of it. Monthly licensing of Windows 10 Enterprise starts at $7/month per computer. 

Windows Server 

The 2008 edition of Windows Server reached end-of-life several years ago, while Windows Server 2013 extended support will last until October 10, 2023. 

We strongly recommend upgrading or replacing your servers that are currently unsupported to Windows Server 2019. New attacks targeting unsupported servers emerge every day, while foreign governments and unscrupulous corporations are quickly outpacing independent hackers as your largest threats. 

Fortunately, many of your traditional services supported by an on-premises server can now be augmented or replaced by cloud services. One example is Azure File Sync, a service that puts your file shares in the cloud while replicating and synchronizing with your Windows Server 2019. Your employees gain the versatility of services like Dropbox and Google Drive, but at the fraction of the cost. 

Video Conferencing – The Summer of Digital Transformation

For most of our customers, remote work has shifted from an option to a necessity over the past few months. We’ve seen millions of students and traditional workers take part in remote learning and conferencing for the first time. Here are some of the most notable developments and platforms that have emerged.

RWA is your Information Technology partner for small and mid-sized businesses in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We’re here to guide you through the rapid changes we all face in today’s Information Technology environment, transition more of your services into the cloud, and adapt your staff for remote work. Contact us today!

Zoom Meetings, “Virtual Rooms” in Teams, and Fed Chair Jay Powell on a secure Cisco video conferencing device


The founder of Zoom worked at Cisco’s WebEx for many years, leaving in 2011 after his ideas for smartphone-friendly video conferencing were rejected. Thanks to low barriers to adoption, colleges and schools across the country instantly adopted Zoom as the favored telelearning platform of the pandemic era. Increased adoption led to significant scrutiny of their security standards, and they’ve promised to fix those issues as they attempt to maintain momentum into the fall.

Microsoft Teams

Here at RWA, we’re a Microsoft Partner and an early adopter of Microsoft Teams. In the wake of the pandemic, Microsoft placed significant focus on videoconferencing in Teams and making it available to more people – but the unique selling point here is the collaboration tools they’ve built, extending into SharePoint Online and the rest of the Office 365 suite.


With a focus on collaboration for digital products, Slack has unparalleled adoption among the silicon valley crowd. In additional to excellent third-party module support, Slack is where developer go to collaborate with other developers – over video, through text messages, or even using software development tools. Slack typically starts with the development crowd then brings the rest of a company in.

Google Meet

Meet is a key component of the GSuite offering, integrating will with Gmail and all of their other tools. Deep integration, along with privacy concerns, slowed adoption and growth in 2020 – but Google Meet has been a reliable tool for many years, and we expect Google to stay active in this space.

Cisco WebEx

Cisco provides world-class security and enterprise services, and WebEx is often used to connect those customers with nearly anybody in the world. We didn’t see significant uptake in this product during the early phases of the pandemic. However, for those who in the financial or government service industries, their presence is nearly ubiquitous.

Built To Serve: Through COVID-19 and Beyond

A message for our Current Customers

Thank you for staying with RWA through these unprecedented times. Our technicians are looking forward to the day when we can perform regular site visits for all of our clients.

Until then, know that we are taking every precaution to keep you and your staff safe, including the following directives:

  • RWA technicians and staff will prioritize virtual visits and Remote Desktop support technology. Instructions are provided below.
  • We have increased our remote support staffing capacity, and reducing or delayed discretionary visits for non-plan, non-contract clients.
  • Without exception, we will abide by decrees and guidance provided by municipal, county, and state government, in addition to federal agency recommendations.
  • Technicians will engage in prudent social distancing measures and infection prevention policies.
  • We will prioritize any work required to enable remote workforce capabilities where it does not already exist.

A message for our Future Customers

At this moment of crisis, we’ve adapted our Complimentary Health Check offering to include remote conferences and 100% no-touch service whenever possible. In addition to online meeting, we will deploy a fleet of tools to analyse the status of your network and detemine the best path forward for your business.

Get Remote Support Now

Time is running out

Save on your 2019 IT purchases with Section 179 tax deductions

“Save Money” by Got Credit is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Increased limits and new tax rules may significantly offset the purchasing and leasing of business equipment for the year, but the equipment must be placed into service before December 31st.

What Is this?

The IRS states Section 179 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 allows businesses to deduct the full price of qualifying equipment, including hardware & software, purchased or financed during the tax year.  This tax deduction is limited to $1 million for 2019.

What purchases qualify?

Most new and used (must be new to you) equipment purchased outright, leased or financed qualifies, provided it is placed into service by December 31 of the tax year claimed.

Why is this important?

  • Microsoft is ending support and security updates for Windows 7 and Server 2008 in January, and this deduction could completely offset replacement costs.
  • Equipment upgrades can increase productivity, improve your IT security posture, and meet demanding new regulatory requirements.
  • New and growing businesses can expand without having to amortize these purchases over the course of several years.

Whatever the reason, the Section 179 deduction may significantly offset the purchasing and leasing of equipment by providing an immediate sizeable tax break. However, you must finalize equipment purchases and leases now to benefit.

RWA is here to help you. Contact us now for your IT purchasing, leasing, installation, project management and other technology support needs.

For more information on this tax deduction, please visit the website and consult your tax, legal and accounting advisors.

RWA is an Information Technology company and Managed Services Provider. We do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice or opinions. This material is for general information purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

2 Months Left to use Windows 7

Windows 7 will reach end of life on January 14th, 2020. At that time, Microsoft will cease releasing security updates for most of their customers, and anyone that needs to meet security regulations for their business will need to upgrade to Windows 10.

RWA technicians will be busy over the next few weeks and holiday season, upgrading operating systems and meeting the needs of new customers. If your business needs to upgrade, please reach out to us immediately for scheduling.