Windows 7 Dies Today: Here’s What You Need to Know

Boxed copies of Windows 7 Professional and Home Premium.Friemann / Shutterstock.com

Microsoft launched Windows 7 in October 2009. Today, more than a decade later, he is retired. Your Windows 7 PCs will continue to work, but Microsoft will no longer release security patches on January 14, 2020.

Can I still use Windows 7?

Windows 7 will continue to operate normally, as will Windows XP. If you have a PC running Windows 7 or Windows XP, you can use it on January 15, 2020, just as you could on January 13, 2020. Microsoft will not prevent you from using your PC. You can see some taunts informing you that “your Windows 7 PC is no longer supported”, but that’s it.

We recommend that you avoid using Windows 7. If you continue to use this operating system, it is now particularly important that you have security software (such as antivirus) installed and take steps to secure your PC.

RELATED: Windows 7 RIP: we will miss you

So what changes?

Windows 7 PC on Microsoft support message.

Now that Microsoft has removed support, Windows 7 will no longer receive security patches. In other words, Microsoft will not release any new security patches for Windows Update.

Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 are all built on the same underlying architecture. Often security vulnerabilities are found for all recent versions of Windows. Now, when attackers find such a security hole and Microsoft fixes it, these fixes will be applied only to Windows 8 and 10. Windows 7 will always have an open security hole that attackers know about.

With the end of official support, software developers will receive a signal that they should not continue to support Windows 7. Many web browsers and other software tools have dropped support for Windows XP in their software. latest versions. Windows 7 will ultimately experience the same fate. For now, Google says it continue to support Chrome on Windows 7 until July 15, 2021 at least.

Can I get security fixes one way or another?

Download updates from Windows Update on Windows 7.

Windows 7 support is not completely finished. Microsoft will always offer “extended security updates” for this, but only to organizations like business and government – and only if those organizations pay ever-increasing costs. These fees are designed to encourage organizations to upgrade.

There is no way to pay extra for security updates if you are a home user. Many people have asked us if this is an option, but Microsoft only offers it to organizations.

It is possible that, if a particularly dangerous security breach is detected, Microsoft still corrects it. The company released a fix for a security breach in Windows XP in 2019. Unfortunately, this fix was not provided via Windows Update, so you must have heard of it before downloading and installing it manually. Many Windows XP systems in the wild are still vulnerable. This is the kind of future that awaits Windows 7 users.

RELATED: How Windows 7 “Extended Security Updates” Work

Will it be really dangerous?

Is continuing to use Windows 7 dangerous? Well, it depends. It probably won’t be too dangerous on January 15, 2020. But over time, you will be using a version of Windows with more and more unpatched security holes that attackers are aware of. Ultimately, the browsers and other applications you use will lose support for your operating system. You will be blocked using outdated browsers, which is particularly dangerous. Without browser security patches, a malicious website could compromise your system after opening a web page.

The Internet is a dangerous place full of increasingly sophisticated attacks, and we always recommend that you use up-to-date software with the latest security patches. We encourage you to upgrade from Windows 7.

Will the software continue to work on Windows 7?

Most applications will continue to run on Windows 7 in the immediate future. But expect to see apps gradually stop working on it over the next few years.

For example, Valve’s Steam game service drop in support for Windows XP and Vista on January 1, 2019. In a few years, we expect to see the removal of Steam for Windows 7 as well.

Some apps have already dropped support for Windows 7. For example, Microsoft Office 2019 only supports Windows 10, not Windows 7 or 8.

I still have a Windows 7 PC, what should I do?

Windows 10 installation on a Windows 7 system.

We recommend that you upgrade and quit Windows 7. This may mean installing a new operating system on your current hardware, or you can purchase a new PC.

To continue using your current PC, you have a few options:

Windows 10 upgrade for free: Although Microsoft no longer advertises the free upgrade offer, it is still available. You can upgrade PC to Windows 10 for free as long as it has a legitimate and activated Windows 7 or 8 system. Here’s how to take advantage of it. We don’t know how long this free upgrade tip will continue to work for. It was still operating on January 13, 2020.
Install Linux on your PC: Don’t want to upgrade to Windows 10? You can still install a Linux distribution like Ubuntu. It is free, supports the latest web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox and will continue to receive security updates for a long time. Sure, it sounds drastic, but you have an option if you want to use a supported operating system on your PC without upgrading to Windows 10.

If your PC gets too long in the tooth, it may be time to buy a new PC. If you haven’t upgraded your hardware in the past seven years since Windows 8 came out, you’ll find that modern PCs (especially those with solid state storage) provide significantly improved performance and a much longer battery life.

That doesn’t mean you have to buy a Windows 10 PC if you don’t like it –Chromebooks, Macs, and iPads are all great options for many people. Whatever you do, we recommend that you quit Windows 7.

RELATED: You can still get Windows 10 for free with a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key

But I need Windows 7 for something!

Windows 7 supports end date reminder message on desktop

If you still need Windows 7 to run critical software or hardware that does not support modern versions of Windows, we recommend that you restrict your use of Windows 7. You should also make sure that the security software is installed.

For example, to run software that requires Windows 7, you can run Windows 7 on a virtual machine running Windows 10 or another operating system. To run hardware that requires Windows 7, you can leave Windows 7 installed on a computer plugged directly into the critical hardware device and use another PC for activities that don’t need Windows 7.

If possible, you can even “let pass” your Windows 7 system. You should leave it offline and avoid connecting it to the network. It would be isolated from attacks and could not be compromised and returned to other systems on your network. This would improve your online security.

Windows 7 is still working, but it’s time to move on

If you are using Windows 7, you can still continue to use it. Heck, you can even install Windows 7 on a new system. Windows Update will always download any hotfixes released by Microsoft before ending support. Things will continue to work on January 15, 2020 much like they did on January 13, 2020.

But Windows 7 is now the new Windows XP, and it will become increasingly filled with known security vulnerabilities as software developers cease to support it. It’s time to upgrade.

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