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Microsoft shuts the door on Windows 7 in January

Windows 7 was one of Microsoft’s best-loved computing operating systems and most of us are still using it.

According to NetMarketShare’s September 2018 data, 40.88% are still using Windows 7 – compared to the 37.44% who have moved on to the latest operating system, Windows 10.

Starting this month, Windows 7 users will start seeing a pop up with a reminder that Microsoft will no longer provide free security updates, bug fixes, or technical support for Windows 7. Notifications are scheduled to appear after the release of KB4493132. The patch will be released April 18, 2019 and will be installed if Windows Update is set to automatically install updates.

The reminder says, “After 10 years of servicing, January 14, 2020, is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates for computers running Windows 7 SP1. This update enables reminders about Windows 7 end of support. More information about Windows 7 end of support can be found here“.

Like all operating systems before it, Windows 7 will soon reach the end of its life cycle, making an upgrade an absolutely essential task for the safety of your PC.

When does support for Windows 7 end?

Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 13, 2015, but extended support won’t end until January 14, 2020. Find out the difference between mainstream and extended support.

This applies as long as you have Service Pack 1 installed. If you haven’t installed Service Pack 1 already, you should do it now by clicking here.

Is Windows 7 still safe to use?

Once an operating system enters extended support, it’s still very safe to use. It means that Microsoft will continue to patch any security threats but won’t add any new features (as it would do during the ‘mainstream support’ phase). As extended support is now ending, security issues and patches will not longer be made leaving systems vulnerable and insecure.

The take away:

There are some key point to remember with Windows 7 coming to an end. 

  1. How old is your Windows 7 system? If you have systems running Windows 7, they may be 5+ years old. Average tax depreciation schedule for computer workstations is between 3-5 years and even if you have systems with an excellent warranty, they expire after 3 years. Bottom line – likely time for a replacement anyway. 

  2. Compliance If your organization is in any way required to comply with compliance standards as you handle important data such as personal information, credit cards, banks account, financial information or confidential data from the state or federal government, you will be in violation if you continue to use an unsupported and insecure operating system (such as Windows 7). 

  3. Windows 10 is stable Windows 10 was released in 2015, so it’s been around around the same time it takes to get a college degree. It’s pretty quick and bug free. If you may have had hesitations with Windows 10 a few years back, that’s understandable. There’s no reason to hold back an upgrade at this point. 

Stay safe out there.


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