The End of the Line for Windows 7

October 29, 2019

Windows 7 was one of the most popular versions of Windows – after XP. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and Microsoft is stopping support for Window 7 on the 14th January 2020.

If you are still running this operating system on your computer, then I suggest you read on.

What Does It Mean?

Firstly, it doesn’t mean you can no longer use Windows 7. It will still work as usual. What will happen is that Microsoft will no longer supply updates – security or otherwise – or offer any email or web-based support.

With a lack of support and updates, it certainly makes the operating system more vulnerable to viruses and other security flaws.

The other issue is that, over time, other manufacturers will stop supporting Windows 7. New programs or apps may not run, or updates to the latest version may not be available. Also, new devices – such as printers – may not work.

So What Do I Do?

OK, this is where I stick my neck out. Most people involved with computers will tell you to upgrade to Windows 10 – either the device you have or a newer computer – before the deadline in January.

My advice is you don’t have to be so hasty.

Why? Well, let’s look at the arguments:

1.      The operating system won’t be secure.

Yes, this is true, and it will become more so as time goes by. However, up-to-date antivirus and common sense will usually keep any nasties at bay.

Being careful when on the internet is a great defence and the best advice I can give no matter what age of device you are using. Look where you are going when browsing and avoid clicking on suspicious attachments or links within emails – no matter how convincing they look or who sent them.

It is merely a case of prevention been better than a cure, and if we don’t go near trouble, it won’t bother us – whatever version of Windows we are currently on.

2.      I won’t be able to use new software or hardware.

Again, this could be true – at some point. However, there are unlikely to be any significant issues for a good while after the deadline. Windows 7 is very popular. At the time of writing, it is estimated to be running on around a third of the World’s computers.

Of course, that may diminish more in the following months but, even so, if you were a software of hardware manufacturer, you would look at continuing support for Windows 7 very seriously. Who would want to lose a third of its potential customers?

To prove my point, I set up a new printer for someone the other week, and they were still running Windows XP. XP is around six years past its sell-by date, and the printer maker was still supporting it with the appropriate software.

Wrapping up

Windows 7 is finishing in January next year. If you still run a computer on it, I would recommend looking at upgrading at some point soon.

The longer you leave it after the deadline, the more issues you may encounter. It is just unlikely, however, to happen straight away.

Any questions on any of the above – or anything else – get in touch.