While it’s easy to think of Windows 7 as a modern operating system, it actually launched all the way back in 2009. After just over 10 years of support, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 after January 14, 2020. So, you need to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
That date will be here sooner than you know it. If you still use Windows 7, here’s what you should know about its end of life and your options for upgrading.
Support for Windows 7 has ended
After 10 years, support for Windows 7 ended on 14 January 2020. We know change can be difficult, so we are here to help you with recommendations for what to do next and to answer questions about the end of support.
What does end of support mean?
As of 14 January 2020, your computer running Windows 7 will still function but Microsoft will no longer provide the following:
- Technical support for any issues
- Software updates
- Security updates or fixes
While you could continue to use your PC running Windows 7, without continued software and security updates, it will be at greater risk for viruses and malware. Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10. And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC. While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended.
What can I do now?
From backing up your files to finding a computer that fits your needs, we’ve got tools to help you transition with ease.
Not only are new modern PCs fast (thanks to solid-state drives) and durable with batteries that last longer, the average price for a great PC is considerably less than it was 5-10 years ago.
1. Check out the latest PCs
Save your personal files and photos to OneDrive or to an external hard drive.
2. Back up your files and photos
3. Get Tips on Windows 10
We think you’ll feel right at home on a new PC with Windows 10, but if you have any questions or want to learn more, there are lots of tips and tutorials available.
4. Sync your favourites
Download the new Microsoft Edge and sign in to easily transfer your Favourites to any Windows 10 PC.
Windows End Of Life Explained
Every Windows product has two important expiry dates:
- End of mainstream support.
- End of extended support.
When a Windows version leaves mainstream support, Microsoft no longer adds new features for it, and warranty claims end. This typically lasts for five years after a product’s release.
For the next five years, the Windows product is in extended support. During this time, Microsoft continues to provide bug fixes and security patches but doesn’t actively develop the OS with new goodies.
With Windows 7, Microsoft is actually offering a compromise. Businesses who want to stick with Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise can pay Microsoft for extended support until 2023 thanks to the Extended Security Updates program.
But this isn’t cheap: for Windows 7 Pro machines, it will cost up to $350 for all three years of support. This is much more expensive than a Windows 10 license for a home user and is only for companies who can’t upgrade yet for whatever reason.
How To Upgrade Windows 7 To Windows 10
1. Upgrade Your Current Computer To Windows 10
If your current machine is fairly new, you may be able to upgrade it directly to Windows 10. However, if you’ve had your computer since Windows 7 debuted, it’s likely too old to work with Windows 10.Check the Windows 10 system requirements page to see if your machine is eligible. Note that these are the bare minimums to get Windows 10 running on a computer and don’t necessarily mean you’ll have a good experience. If your PC has a tiny 100GB hard drive or only 2GB of RAM, you’re probably better off getting a new machine.
2. Buy A New Computer With Windows 10
This is likely the best option for most people. Computers running Windows 7 are at least several years old, so you should have a more powerful machine to run Windows 10.
Thankfully, you don’t need to break the bank to get a decent computer.
3. Upgrade To Windows 8.1
Since Windows 7 and 10 are so popular, it’s easy to forget that Windows 8.1 exists. While mainstream support for that version ended in early 2018, Windows 8.1 will receive extended support until January 10, 2023.Thus, moving to Windows 8.1 gives you three more years of life after Windows 7 bites the dust. However, we don’t recommend this choice.
First, Windows 10 is a better OS than Windows 8.1. It regularly receives feature updates to improve it, unlike Windows 8.1 which only receives security updates. Windows 8.1 has the much-maligned Start Screen and lacks useful features like multiple desktops.
Further, Microsoft doesn’t sell license keys for Windows 8.1 anymore. You’d have to buy one from Amazon or another aftermarket retailer, which can be shady. And while you’ll find hundreds of machines running Windows 10, it’s difficult to find a pre-built computer with Windows 8.1 on it.
Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 have the same system requirements, so if you’re going to buy a new computer, moving to Windows 10 is the better option. If you upgrade to Windows 8.1, you’ll have to worry about this problem again before 2023.
4. Switch To Another Platform
If you’ve lost interest in Windows, you can check out an entirely new operating system.
Those on a budget, or who only use a computer for light tasks, should consider a Chromebook. These lightweight devices are great for basic work like emailing and word processing and are easy to use thanks to automatic updates and built-in security.
If you don’t mind spending more on a premium experience, consider a Mac. MacBooks cost much more than the Windows laptops you’re probably used to, but some say that after experiencing macOS, you’ll never want to go back to Windows.
For something totally different, consider a Linux machine. While Linux often has a reputation for being usable only by advanced users, you’d be surprised how user-friendly modern versions are.
If you have any questions about your laptops and operating systems at your business requiring an upgrade, please feel free to give us a call at We The IT Team.