Preparing for the End of Windows 7
On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will officially no longer update or support the Windows 7 operating system after that date. At this point, the extended support that the system has been on since 2015 will be discontinued and Microsoft will no longer provide customer or security support for Windows 7. It makes sense that after 10 years, Microsoft would discontinue the service for their oldest operating system. But what does this mean for the 35% of PCs who are still operating with Windows 7?
What happens next?
The good news is that if you can’t imagine a world where you won’t be able to run Windows 7 on your computer, there’s no need to worry. Windows 7 will operate normally on any PC that it’s currently installed on, even after the End of Life date. While it will still operate normally, Microsoft will no longer be applying security patches, system updates and likely help and support services. This will leave you extremely vulnerable to any emerging threats and viruses, especially if there are enough users that hold on to Windows 7. So, you could still use it for as long as you’d like. But should you? Whether you are ready for it or not, it’s time to consider updating your software.
Upgrading to Windows 10
Windows 10 is the current operating software for Microsoft, which might be the easiest option if you are already familiar with the Windows operating system. The upgrading process is relatively easy, and it will cause you the least amount of disruptions for all of the programs you have on your computer. Most of your current programs should update with Windows 10, and it has a similar layout and interface to the older operating systems. The biggest drawback to Windows 10 is that not all of the older PCs will be able to facilitate the new software. The recommended requirements for running Windows 10 are:
- I5 or higher CPU
- 8GB RAM
- 120GB or higher HDD
Keeping Windows 7
At the end of the day, if you currently have equipment that can’t handle the update to Windows 10, or if you don’t have the time or budget to train your employees on the new operating system, Microsoft is offering a solution for all of its Windows 7 users. After the Windows 7 End of Life on January 14, 2020, Microsoft will offer Windows 7 Extended Security Updates, a paid service that will keep your devices up and running on Windows 7. This will operate on a per device basis, starting at $25 US (about $35 AU) and will increase each year while you continue to operate on Windows 7. With this paid service, you can continue to operate your business or personal computers on Windows 7 without fear of threats or viruses. While you will inevitably have to face a system update, this will keep your current system running for the time being.
There’s a lot of changes to consider when contemplating the end of Windows 7. Hardware compatibility, cost of upgrade and subscription fees may all play a role in whether you stay with or move on from Windows 7. If needed, our experienced team at Provide Technology can do a quick test and advise on which OS is best for your situation.