In fairness, we all knew that the day was coming when Microsoft would drop support for Windows 7. I mean, when they unleashed Windows 10 in 2015 and they made it easy for everybody who wanted it to download it for free, the hint should’ve been clear then. And then, when they announced the end date – that was pretty obvious too. Windows 7 has been among us for 11 years now, and it’s time for them to move on. But, what does all of this mean to the people who opted to stay on Windows 7, and those who contemplating staying on it regardless?
An apt replacement
Windows 7 was an apt replacement for the mess that was Windows Vista, and it proved popular with millions of Microsoft users. According to the Verge, it took Windows 10 four years to become more popular than what it replaced. And here’s the extraordinary thing, according to ZDNet, there are millions who are still using the now-outdated system.
So what do Windows 7 users need to look out for?
Well, those who have continued to use Windows 7 are now vulnerable to cyber attacks. Microsoft has stopped providing the security updates that have helped to fix bugs, viruses and more.
As an operating system, Windows 7 will not stop operating. Users will still be able to log in. However, the system will cease receiving security updates. Users will need to keep an eye out for ransomware attacks and much more. The internet is full of things created by people who for some reason want to get hold of your system, information and more through your computer, and as a result, the internet is full of malware that is starving to get into your system. This is why security updates are so important to our computers.
Now, Google tells us that Chrome will keep providing updates for Windows 7 PC browsers until July 2021, and CNN tells us that Microsoft will provide security updates for Edge browser users for some time. But these are just browser updates – and hackers are not just interested about what’s going on there.
No sympathetic ear
CNN reminds us about the WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017, where even Windows XP users were open to attack. Microsoft had to create an emergency patch for that – since then XP has not received any updates.
The simple thing is, if you are a Windows 7 user, it’s important that you consider what to do next. If you decide to stay on that operating system, then I’m afraid that if you do get hacked or a bug in your system, then people may not be offering a sympathetic ear.
What about business?
If your business is still using Windows 7, some sources, such as Lansweeper.com, say that “Businesses which fail to migrate in time will be saddled with high fees for further support from Microsoft”, and according to Microsoft themselves, they say “if you are using Windows as part of a work environment, we recommend you check first with your IT department or see Windows 10 deployment support to learn more”. By now, many legacy software issues should be fixed – which is without a doubt the biggest flaw for businesses.
So, here’s my recommendation. Windows 10 is good. Yep, many of us don’t like immediate change, but once you get used to the new system, you’ll probably like it. Sure, it still has the occasional bug, but at least big brother is still there to offer patches and fixes. If you go to Microsoft’s website, you’ll see that there is a cost for downloading Windows 10. However, when they first released the system, it was free, and according to CNET, Forbes & others, the page that it was available on is still in operation, and the system is still free and in working order.
If Windows 10 is not for you, and if you still have a bit of budget, then it may do no harm to have a look at what Apple offers.