What Will Happen When Windows 7 Support Ends?
Time is running out. Windows 7 will soon be an unsupported system in Microsoft’s portfolio. Although you can still use the system (some computers are still running Windows XP, although not without significant risk), there are plenty of reasons to move up to the “last” version of Windows – WIN 10.
You really can’t blame Microsoft. Maintaining and supporting multiple versions of an operating system requires considerable resources – at a considerable expense. For that very reason, the company has decided that there will be no further versions of Windows in your future. That doesn’t mean they’re done refining and enhancing their product – it just means that all new features will be added to Windows 10, not result in a new version.
Windows 7 has enjoyed a long run – and broad acceptance from Windows OS users. With general availability
in October 2009, it replaced the far less popular Windows Vista. Many corporate users and consumers are still quite content to plug along with WIN 7 systems, with little sense of urgency for upgrading to a new, supported Windows environment.
However, when Microsoft drops support of a strategic product like Windows 7, it’s a sure sign that you should begin planning for an upgrade.
When Windows 7 support ends, there will be an immediate impact on the integrity of your WIN 7 system.
- Lack of new features:Windows 7 mainstream support, which would include enhancements and “bug” fixes, ended in 2015. That’s eons ago, from a computer software standpoint.
- No free support:Have problems with a Windows 7 function, or can’t get it to work with a new device such as a graphics card or external drive? You’re out of luck if you expect Microsoft support.
- Cybersecurity:Doors to your system are wide open, as hackers and cyber thieves uncover new vulnerabilities to the OS, which Microsoft will no longer be addressing.
For now, Microsoft is still providing security patches/updates for Windows 7 machines, but the clock is ticking for that service, as well. January 2020 will spell the end of security updates to Windows 7, leaving those systems increasingly susceptible as time goes on.
While corporations can choose to pay Microsoft for extended support of their Windows 7 computers (at least for a period of time), as a consumer you don’t that option.
How important is it to move up from Windows 7?
From a positive standpoint, your WIN 7 computers will not stop running. There are no software time bombs that will shut any users down.
Even so, just the lack of security updates should be enough to alarm you into upgrading to Windows 10.
Just in the April update alone, Microsoft addresses 74 vulnerabilities of various levels. Cyber thieves and malicious hackers are always applying their creativity to penetrate your defenses and capture bank accounts, passwords, and personal identification such as social security numbers. Just as unscrupulous internet thieves pounced on weaknesses of Windows XP when support ended, the same will be true of Windows 7 when there are no further security patches.
Antivirus software will certainly be updated as new WIN 7 security holes are uncovered, but that too will be limited as time goes on.
If you’re a business that is paying Microsoft for extended support of your aging Windows 7 computers, the price will likely increase the longer you retain those systems. Microsoft does not want to maintain multiple versions of their OS, so you must make it worthwhile for them financially.
If you want to make use of the latest technology:
- High-tech graphics cards
- Enhanced external drives
- Continuously-evolving peripherals such as gaming controllers
- Specialized keyboards
Windows 10 is where the support for such devices is heading.
To be sure, you have choices for how to proceed as Windows 7 support ends:
- Continue using Windows 7:Use an unsupported operating system, with its security vulnerabilities and dead-end set of features
- Upgrade to Windows 10:Purchase the OS, or buy a new computer with WIN 10 already installed (you may still be able to download WIN 10 free if you have a registered copy of Windows 7)
- Change operating systems: Switch to a totally different operating system (such as Linux), or move to another platform such as MAC or Chromebook
Considering this short list, upgrading to Windows 10 is likely your best direction. Windows 10 has been hailed for its ease of use, new features, and performance. Most software vendors and computer peripheral manufacturers are focusing on Windows 10 for their products.
When you decide that moving up from Windows 7 is the right thing for you, there are two important considerations:
- Windows 10 is continuously being updated. Even if you bought a new computer with Windows 10 installed, it could very well not be the latest and greatest. Be sure to check for updates once your system is installed or you get it home.
- Drivers are another important consideration that many computer owners overlook. Without the latest drivers for your OS and peripheral devices, you may not get the best performance from your system. In fact, some may not work at all without compatible drivers.
Updating drivers can sometimes be as complex as performing an OS upgrade. It may require searching the internet or manufacturer sites for the right driver that’s compatible with your computer, Windows version, and hardware peripherals.
DriverSupport is a better way to update your drivers without the hassle and guesswork. Register with DriverSupport, and let the system do the work. It will analyze your system for the hardware configuration and current drivers, then locate the drivers you need and update them for you. Download Driver Support and get started now.