The End of Windows 7: What You Need to Know
With Windows 7 coming to an end after ten years of commitment to its customers, users across the world are going to have to brace for a new era of Microsoft. Of course, this is not going to be an easy move and most people are going to have trouble adjusting.
So what should you do? What do you need to know about Windows 7’s end of life and what risks should you be concerned about? We’ll be answering all of your questions today and more. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll not only be an expert in what’s going on in regards to the end of Windows 7, but you’ll also be ready if something like this ever happens again.
What Exactly is the End of Windows 7?
Simply put, the end of Windows 7 means that Microsoft will discontinue all support for devices running on Windows 7. This means you won’t get your software or security updates and any technical assistance you relied on before will now be gone.
All Windows operating systems have two periods where they provide support for their customers: mainstream and extended. Mainstream lasts for a few years and during this time, Microsoft releases new updates and features along with new security upgrades.
Once the mainstream period ends, their extended support begins. During the extended support time period, Microsoft is constantly releasing new security patches but it isn’t adding on those new features anymore.
Windows 7’s mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015, and right now, Windows 7 has little under a year till Microsoft ends its extended support for operating systems with Windows 7.
Should I Keep Using Computers With Windows 7?
Although technically you can still use computers with Windows 7 operating systems, we do not recommend it. The end date for extended support is scheduled for January 14, 2020. Once Microsoft ends the extended support for Windows 7, there will no longer be security patches and updates available to you. Any reputable local IT providers will tell you not to keep using Windows 7 after the extended support is gone due to your potential risks.
Potential Risks of Using Windows 7 Post-Life
Windows 7 is your computer’s operating system, which has three main functions. 1) Manage your computer’s resources such as your processor, your memory, disk drives and printers. 2) establish a user interface and 3) execute and provide services for other software to run. After the extended support ends, two big things stop; no more security patches or feature updates. Which means your device is more likely to contract a virus or ransomware, your information is at a higher chance of being hacked or the device will just become extremely out-of-date and unable to run new programs overtime.
Because Microsoft will no longer give security updates after January 14, 2020, developing malware on your computer will be a very big deal since you won’t have the security updates to fight it off.
The other big thing that could happen after your extended support ends is your computer will lose most of its functionality. Since your post-life Windows 7 operating system will no longer receive updates, other major software such as Google Chrome and Dropbox will stop releasing updates for that version of Windows as well.
There are other risks when it comes to using an expired operating system after its support has ended but these two things are the biggest issues people face whenever they do continue to use an operating system in its post-life state.
How to Avoid the Risks of Using Windows 7
If you want to avoid any potential mishaps with your computer or laptop after Windows 7 end of life happens, the best way to go is to upgrade your operating system to Windows 10. However, upgrading to Windows 10 isn’t the simplest process. First you have to make sure your device meets the system requirements to run Window 10.
Here are the minimum requirements you need to go through with the upgrade:
- Processor: At least 2GHz
- RAM: 1GB for 32-bit and 2GB for 64-bit OS
- Hard disk: 16GB for 32-bit and 20GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 with WDDM driver
- Display: 800×600
Then you’ll want to make sure that your current operating system has the latest version of Windows that Microsoft has provided. The next step is to make sure that all third-party software is disabled because it may hinder you from properly finishing your switch from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Once that’s done, you’ll want to go here to start the Windows 10 upgrade process.
If you do not wish to update your system alone, reach out to your local IT provider and see if they offer a Free Windows 10 Assessment to help get your started. We know from experience it can save you a lot of time and headaches.
All Good Things Come to an End
Each Windows operating system has an end date, no matter how popular it is. For Windows 7, January 14th, 2020 will be the last day this operating system receives support from Microsoft. Once the support ends, Microsoft will no longer release security patches and feature updates for Windows 7.
From here, if you’re looking to avoid possible malware and viruses, the best way to go is to upgrade to Windows 10. It will take time to get adjusted to Windows 10, as it looks completely different from Windows 7. However, once you get used to the new look and see what Windows 10 has to offer, you’ll discover that Microsoft has brought yet another great operating system to the table.