There are a few tumultuous days ahead for Microsoft as the Redmond-based company sets about making its ageing Windows 7 desktop operating system obsolete. From next week, this popular desktop operating system will no longer be supported. What does that mean for you? Well, crucially anyone who continues to use Windows 7 after its “end of life” deadline faces an increased risk from online threats, bugs, as well as cyber-attacks – since Microsoft will no longer be issuing updates to help keep your machine glitch-free and safe from threats.
Faced with the increased risk, Windows 7 are already flocking away from the trusty operating system – which many Microsoft fans still prefer to the glossy new design of Windows 10, which has Live Tiles in the Start menu that automatically update with snippets of the latest in-app updates, and relies heavily on the Cortana voice assistant.
“After January 14, 2020, if your PC is running Windows 7, it will no longer receive security updates. Therefore, it’s important that you upgrade to a modern operating system such as Windows 10, which can provide the latest security updates to help keep you and your data safer,” Microsoft warned in a post on its website.
Although many are able to make the switch to Windows 10 via a simple (but very expensive) software upgrade, millions could be forced to head to the shops and buy a brand new device. That’s because Microsoft is warning that some ageing computers simply won’t be able to cope with its latest and greatest operating system.
In advice on its Windows 7 support page, Microsoft says: “For most Windows 7 users, moving to a new device with Windows 10 will be the recommended path forward. Today’s PCs are faster, lightweight yet powerful, and more secure, with an average price that’s considerably less than that of the average PC eight years ago. We recommend that you don’t install Windows 10 on an older device, as some Windows 7 devices are not compatible with Windows 10 or could experience reduced feature availability.”
Sticking with Windows 7 is a potentially bad idea as attacks on this older software are sure to increase as soon as Microsoft stops pushing out its regular security updates from next Tuesday. And the advice from Microsoft is pretty clear – either buy a new computer, which will have the latest OS pre-installed, or add the latest version of Windows 10 to your old PC.
If you want to opt for the second option, there is still some confusion about upgrading current PCs to the new software.
Microsoft’s official stance is to push its users to buy the update from the online store, which can cost in excess of £200 for individuals. Given what the US company has said about compatibility issues with older hardware, it seems like a risky move to cough-up for an operating system that might slow down your notebook or desktop PC to an interminable level.
Since publishing numerous stories about the price of this upgrade, Express.co.uk has been inundated with readers saying they have made the switch for free. We can’t verify if it’s still possible to ditch Windows 7 without paying the full fee but Microsoft says: “The Windows 10 free upgrade offer ended on July 29, 2016. To get Windows 10 you will need to either purchase a new device or, if you have a compatible PC, purchase a full version of the software to upgrade your existing device.”
If you’re still running Windows 7, like almost a quarter of all users online, there are a few options to consider before the end of life deadline this month. Microsoft has already confirmed that Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise users who have purchased Extended Security Updates (ESU) will still receive critical security updates for the next three years. So, if you’ve shelled out for this extra, you can continue to use Windows 7 safe in the knowledge that any showstopping bugs will be quashed by Microsoft.
Extended Security Updates (ESU) means crucial updates will continue even though both Windows 7 versions will not receive regular bug fixes and updates or assistance from Microsoft Support. Enterprise customers will still be able to receive security support until 2023 if they sign-up for Extended Security Updates (ESU), which is still available.
To encourage users to upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft offered the ability to upgrade for free to the next-generation operating system. The promotion started on July 2015 with the launch of Windows 10 and ended the upgrade offer – which worked for anyone running a legitimate version of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 – through to July 2016.