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ALERT: Microsoft Will Soon End Support for Windows 7.

Have you upgraded to Windows 10 or are you still using Windows 7? In the event you are still using Windows 7, you might want to add this on your things to do.

In the next few weeks, millions of Windows 7 users will be receiving pop-up messages from Microsoft. This message will be informing them that their Windows 7 operating system will reach the end of life in January 2020. After the said date, their computers will no longer be receiving updates thus increasing their risk for viruses and malware. The operating system is 10 year old and Microsoft has decided to end it on January 2020.

“By starting the reminders now, our hope is that you have time to plan and prepare for this transition,” wrote Matt Barlow, corporate vice president, Windows, in a recent blog post. Microsoft recommends that consumers move to Windows 10, which it claims is the most secure version of the operating system ever developed.

You might have these questions about the transition to Windows 10:
• How much it will cost to move from Windows 7 to Windows 10? (Answer: It depends.)
• Is it worth the risk to stick with Windows 7? (Answer: Probably not.)
• What role, if any, does antivirus software play in all of this? (Answer: A small one.)

Statistics say that there are still nearly 27 percent of all Windows users in the U.S. are still using Windows 7 on their computers. Upgrading to windows 10 will have its pros and cons and the new users would need some time adjusting to the Windows 10 interface.

Some of you are asking why Windows 7 support is ending. Pretty much, it supporting an outdated operating system costs a lot, even for a company as large and rich as Microsoft.

Operating systems need programmers and developers to do constant research and maintenance. It is hard maintaining outdated code while at the same time doing the same for the latest operating system. That is the reason why companies will do everything to migrate customers to use the latest version.

To Microsoft’s credit, this cutoff date for Windows 7 support was announced alongside the release of the operating system in October 2009.

Microsoft also points out that the 10-year life span for Windows 7 is longer than what’s offered by its competitors.

For instance, the oldest operating system to receive updates from Apple this year is MacOS Sierra, released in 2016. It’s worth noting that MacOS upgrades are free so long as your hardware is compatible. (Mojave, the latest version of Apple’s operating system, supports laptops released as far back as 2012.)

Microsoft’s goal is to use lesser resources to supporting Windows 7 in order for them to focus more on making Windows 10 as secure as possible. If operating systems were never dropped up to this date, we would still be supporting DOS.

People often ask what End-of-Support means. Basically, Microsoft will no longer produce updates for the said operating system, nor receive new features. Mostly it would cut off security updates that patch up security flaws and vulnerabilities purring your computer’s data at a higher risk.

Older and outdated operating systems increases your risk of being attacked using known exploits and other designed toolkits to take advantage of bugs and vulnerabilities in an application. When a vulnerability is discovered, vendors are obligated to deliver security patched only to the supported versions, thus lessening their scope of support by dropping Windows 7.

Starting January 2020, Windows 8.1 which is a free upgrade from Windows 8 will continue to receive updates until January 2023. Windows 10 users should receive at least six more years of support. Although antivirus and anti-malware software can protect you from malicious software, due to your computer lacking the needed updates, you’d still be vulnerable to newer and sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks.

Viruses and malware are always unpredictable and unknown effects can happen to the operating system and no guarantees that a security company can cover you fully to defend against the newer threats.

What would happen if you do not update? Pretty much nothing, your computer will still continue to function. Similar to the outdated Windows XP ended last 2014, Windows 7 will still be usable but will not be secure. Not just because it still works after January 2020, you will leave it as it is.

It is highly recommended that you move over to Windows 10. However, it comes at a price. Depending on where you get a copy, it might cost you up to $140. It is fairly easy to follow and install. But before you do, it is always recommended to perform a backup in case something does not go according to plan.

However, due to the cost, I would rather suggest getting a new PC instead to take advantage of the newer features and security methods of Windows 10 like fingerprint reader and facial recognition.

It would all depend what you decide to do from here onward; upgrade your operating system or replace your computer.

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