Windows 7 support ending. What does it all mean?
Updated: Jan 5
We’ve all been hearing for quite some time now that support for Windows 7 is ending. As with any change, it can be hard to adjust. This can be especially challenging when we’re already used to how something works, and it works well for us.
Questions may linger on the minds of some when it comes this, such as: What does ending support mean for users, businesses, and others still utilizing this popular Microsoft OS release? What are the benefits of upgrading to Windows 10? Are there any other options out there?? This article is designed to help answer those questions.
First, when does support for Windows 7 expire?
Windows 7 support officially ends January 14, 2020. That means beyond that date, Microsoft will stop pushing out it’s free security and enhancement updates that keep the operating system safe and compatible with new software.
What does this mean for those still using Windows 7?
Windows 7 will still continue to work for those who choose to keep using it past the support expiration. However, using the operating system without paying for continued support will be risky business as the security patches released to help keep the operating system safe from Cyber attacks will cease.
Also, major software manufacturers will stop releasing products that are compatible with Windows 7. So just as we saw with Windows XP, after a while it will be very difficult to find software to use with Windows 7 aside from what's already been released or what you already have installed on your PC.
What are some benefits to upgrading to Windows 10?
For starters, Windows 10 is already compatible with much of the software released for Windows 7. On top of that, there are ways to get Windows 7 specific software to run on Windows 10 if not readily compatible. Such methods of doing this include using compatibility mode and virtualization.
If that’s not enough to convince you to upgrade, consider the fact that you can make windows 10 look and feel more like Windows 7 with the use of a classic shell menu application.
On top of these great benefits, think of how much more secure Windows 10 is than Windows 7 right out of the box. With features such as secure boot (on UEFI enabled hardware), bit locker encryption (on Pro Edition), and user passwords that can’t be brute forced offline easily as in Windows XP-7, you can have more confidence that your data is protected in the event of loss or theft.
Are there any other options available other than Windows 10?
The short answer is, yes! If you’d like to keep your current computer but don’t want to use the latest Windows release, you can change your operating system to one of the open source options such as Linux, BSD, etc.
The upside to doing this is there’s usually no real upfront cost involved to switch.
The downside to taking this route is that changing your operating system to a completely different platform can be kind of a culture shock as you have to learn everything about how to use the new operating system and the programs available for Windows operating systems may not be available in the open source operating systems and alternative programs may have to be used.
Another method of switching operating systems is to purchase from a competing manufacturer such as Apple (Macintosh) or Google (Chromebook). Again, there may be some culture shock when doing this especially for lifelong users of the Windows family of operating systems.
The benefit of going this route is much of the software released for Windows nowadays is also released to work on a number of different commercially supported operating systems such as these. Also, if you run into issues learning or setting up your computer, help is readily available via the support channels offered by these manufacturers.
What will you do???
As with anything, change can be tough. But just like when water undergoes change from liquid to evaporation, condensation, or ice to keep us alive, change can be good. Since so much of the human body is made up of water, we’re better equipped to handle change than most may think.
So which course will you choose? Take your time, do some research and find out the best course. What will work for one may not work for another. Ultimately your choice will depend on what YOU need most.
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