As you may have heard from the news or friends, Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft as of January 14th, 2020. I’d like to take a moment to provide a little more insight as so what’s going on.
Windows 7 was initially released to the public on October 22nd, 2009, making it ten years old as of October 2019. Over the past ten years, Windows 7 has served us well as a simple and efficient operating system to power our computers, but technology has moved on. The home revolves less around the main computer and more around phones, tablets, and smart devices that Microsoft never designed Windows 7 to support.
As with all older technology, there comes a time when companies have to stop using resources to support and patch old systems that are on less and fewer computers, and Windows 7 has reached that time. So what does this mean for you?
- Your computer will NOT stop working on January 14th; this is simply the date that Microsoft will no longer be releasing patches.
- Because there will be no further patches, your PC will become insecure very quickly. Antivirus may help for a short time, but as hackers discover more security holes, the antivirus itself may be at risk.
- Web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox may be updated for some time, but will also stop support at some point, meaning websites may not load properly or support the latest security.
At this point, you may be wondering what your options are. There are two choices, depending on what computer you currently have.
- If your current computer still has a decent processor and display adapter, it may be possible with minor upgrades (such as RAM and SSD) to upgrade to Windows 10. Unfortunately, while many low-end computers may be able to have Windows 10 installed, the experience would be slow and frustrating.
- Purchase a new computer. Before doing this, please consult a technician. Many new Windows 10 PCs in the lower price range may seem like a good deal, but even a modern computer can take minutes to boot depending on where the manufacturer cut corners to lower the cost.
For information on the support dates for all of Microsoft’s operating systems, check out https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet.
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