By Chris David
Your Windows 7 laptop or PC is still running fine. All your programs and settings are configured and working. Why change it if it’s not broken? Well, Microsoft has announced that January 14, 2020 will be the “end of support” for the venerable Windows 7 operating system. What does this mean for you and your trusty device?
Is your PC or laptop with Windows 7 suddenly going to stop working?
No. End of support simply means that Microsoft will no longer be issuing security or reliability updates for Windows 7.
What does this mean, practically for you and your PC? And why is Microsoft doing this?
Operating systems are incredibly complicated. A computer operating system is one of the most complicated things ever designed by humans, in fact. And creating patches and updates costs a lot of money. Windows 7 was released in early 2009, and by now Microsoft has the operating system on billions of computers. The market is saturated.
In short, Microsoft doesn’t want to spend money updating something that they can no longer make money off.
It’s all about the money?
Of course, Microsoft’s official advice is to go out and buy a new PC with Windows 10. (Windows 10 has built-in revenue streams so that Microsoft can make money off us from now until the end of time.) Wouldn’t it just be great if you bought a new computer and started making money for dear old Microsoft again?
But back to the question at hand…
Eventually hackers will find and begin to exploit security holes in the older Windows 7 operating system, which Microsoft will not patch. And the OS might not be compatible with the newest hardware.
But practically speaking, after January 2020, for you and your Windows 7 computer everything will keep running the same as always. On your personal PC, you can keep using Windows 7 for the short to medium term.
Just follow some basic advice on safe computing, such as running your computer with a non-admin account.
Other precautions include, making sure you are running an up-to-date virus and malware scanning program. (We use Malwarebytes and/or Norton.) And don’t download unknown applications from the internet. Also, make sure your web browser is up to date, as this is the first line of defense for your PC. (Get Firefox or Chrome.)