It’s heartbreaking. The end is near for Windows 7. We have been warned but it’s really hard to accept it. In less than a year, there will be no more support for Windows 7.
You may have seen a “Microsoft courtesy reminder” screen telling you that “support for Windows 7 is nearing the end!” Usually pop-ups with dire warnings and lots of exclamation points are not trustworthy. However, in this case, the message most likely is from Microsoft! Why?
On Oct. 22, 2009, Windows 7 was released to the public and on Jan. 13, 2020, it reaches the end of its extended support from Microsoft. You may continue using it, but there will be no more updates for this Windows version. Unless you are part of an organization that pays Microsoft to get up to three additional years of updates, the security of your system will disintegrate slowly but surely. I have clients who still have Windows XP units (whose support ended in 2014). Generally these systems are not used online anymore, but have been maintained to operate old software that will not run on a newer version of Windows or is deemed too expensive to upgrade.
It takes some time to adjust to a new operating system. Windows 7 is very easy to use. Unfortunately, change is inevitable.
Some Windows users simply don’t like change, and a new operating system always means changes. Remember Vista? Some clients kept on using it long after the end of extended support, only to find out that browsers such as Chrome and Mozilla refused to open certain websites and programs. This was because without Windows updates, they weren’t secure enough anymore or the programmers had pulled the plug on this old operating system. For example, Office 2019, will only install on Windows 10. I ran into the same problem with some Adobe products. No one can guarantee that an application update or replacement will run on your old system.
Question is, what are the options for diehard Windows 7 users like us?
One option is to keep on using your computer “as is.” But if this is your choice, after January 2020, it’s best to not use it on the Internet. The computer will be increasingly more vulnerable to computer viruses, malware, etc.
You might decide just to buy a new system with Windows 10 and get your programs and data transferred over. If you are computer savvy, there are programs to help you with this process. Otherwise, it’s best to have this done by a local pro.
Another option is to keep your current computer and upgrade the Windows 7 system to Windows 10. When Windows 10 first came out, years ago, this upgrade was free of charge; now you have to buy a Windows 10 license to do this.
There is good and bad news about this option. This upgrade is an “in place” upgrade. Theoretically, you can boot from the Windows 10 CD (or USB stick) to start the upgrade. After this is completed, the system will now be running on Windows 10.
But there’s a bad hitch to this. If something goes wrong during the process, you could lose valuable data and programs. It’s easy to click on the wrong option and end up with a clean install of Windows (which wipes out your data). And if the hard drive is old or on its last legs, it could roll over and die during the intense reading/writing process of this big upgrade.
Leaving Windows 7 to work as it is, could endanger our privacy. Upgrading seems to be the most practical option but there is also the threat of losing data. No matter what OS we use, data loss is always a threat.
Going back to Windows 7, well, thanks for the memories.