Windows 7 was released back in October 2009 and has sold 450million licences since its launch. While many users and businesses are now using Windows 10, 34% of Windows machines around the world are still running Windows 7.
Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended in January 2015, however, as of January 14th 2020 the extended support phase will end and Microsoft will no longer be providing any updates or technical support for PCs running on Windows 7.
What is the difference between mainstream support and extended support?
Mainstream support is the first phase of the software’s lifecycle that includes:
- Incident support
- Security update support
- The ability to request non-security updates
- Design and feature updates
- Bug fixes
Extended support comes into effect once mainstream support has ended, usually after 5 years, still including security updates but does not include any new design features. Extended support includes:
- Paid support
- Security updates at no cost
Now that extended support will cease to exist, these above support features will not be available unless you are willing to pay a premium. Windows 7 is still very popular and so Microsoft has introduced ‘Extended Security Updates’ which will last until 2023. This will allow Windows 7 Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise users to purchase the extended security updates.
What does the end of support mean for Windows 7 users?
Microsoft has advised that users upgrade to Windows 10 to allay any security concerns as support for Windows 7 ends. However, you might be wondering what will happen if you choose not to upgrade and stick with Windows 7. If you decide to stay with Windows 7 your PC will work as normal, but Microsoft will no longer release security updates so you will be less protected and therefore more vulnerable to malware as time goes on.
Why Upgrade to Windows 10?
Here are some other reasons that upgrading to Windows 10 sooner rather than later could be beneficial.
- Performance: One of the main reasons for upgrading to Windows 10 is the overall performance, and Windows 10 will perform faster across the board than earlier versions. Furthermore, many features can improve your overall experience such as the new feature ‘Cortana’ that has improvements made with every update. For more detailed information on Cortana please click the link – https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/17214/cortana-what-is
- User Experience: Generally, users will have a better experience with Windows 10 with the advantage of Virtual Desktops, keyboard shortcuts, touch screen PCs, the notifications centre and the improved start menu to name a few.
- Security: Security is a huge factor when using any operating system, now more than ever. Windows 10 has new features to help improve security such as a new PIN system that will protect your Microsoft account with a strong and secure password, but will still use a simple PIN as an added layer of security. Windows 10 also includes a new feature to prevent ransomware affecting a PC, and the option to subscribe to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which is a far more sophisticated cloud service, which manages security threats across your Windows 10 computers.
- Configurations: When it comes to work PCs, Windows 10 allows configuring new machines far easier. For example, an employee can get a new computer, connect to your office’s network and automatically configure to your business’s required settings making it convenient and easy for businesses to setup.
Upgrading your PC
The free upgrade to Windows 10 ended in July 2016, if you are still using Windows 7 and want to upgrade to Windows 10 before the January deadline, Microsoft recommend moving to a new PC with Windows 10. Your current Windows 7 PC can be upgraded to Windows 10 by installing a full version of the software, which you can purchase straight from Microsoft, but this may not be the right option for you. Many PCs still running on an old Operating System are using older or outdated hardware. Windows 10 may not be hugely demanding on a PC but as time goes on with future updates these computers will most likely need to be replaced with newer hardware.
Further information on upgrading to Windows 10 can be found via the below link.
Windows 7 support will be ending next year, however, customers can easily upgrade to a newer version of Windows, and furthermore you can still use Windows 7 with Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate. Ultimately, users should not be too concerned about the end of Windows 7 as they have many alternatives with a number of improvements to advance their day-to-day desktop experience.
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By Cameron Judge on July 25th, 2019