Windows 7 reaches the end of its journey in January 2020

So long, my trusty old friend, it’s time for you to depart. You’ve had a great innings, but it’s time for us to move on.

I’m of course referring to Windows 7, which is the software used on many desktop computers and laptops, particularly in businesses.

Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 or release security updates for this platform from mid-January 2020. Basically what this means to you if you’re still using this operating system, is that if the bad guys find a “hole” in the software, Microsoft won’t issue an update to fix that problem, leaving you, and your business potentially exposed.

If you have or are looking to obtain accreditations like Cyber Essentials, you basically won’t get through it using Windows 7 (as you wouldn’t running any outdated/unsupported software), which is actually a good thing, as it means you have to move onto newer, more secure and quicker software for your business.

When it comes to moving on from Windows 7, our advice is to explore two straight forward options:

Upgrade to Windows 10: If you’re running Windows 7, and your computer is of a decent specification, then the simple option here is to upgrade to Windows 10. All that’s involved is purchasing the relevant license and then going through the upgrade process. You continue to use your existing computer, but you will have moved onto a fully supported platform, which may also speed things up for you as well.

Replace your computer: Sounds obvious doesn’t it? If you’re running an older computer, and if your budget allows for it, then it’s a good time and reason to simply replace your aging hardware with something shiny and new. You’ll benefit from quicker hardware, a clean and fresh Windows installation and you’ll be more secure as a result. 

Many of our customers have mixed and matched whether they upgrade or replace, all dependent on the age of their computer and the experience the users of the computers have whilst carrying out their day-to-day duties. There’s no right or wrong, it’s just what suits. The only thing that would be wrong is doing nothing!

How long will Windows 10 last you? We can’t say for certain, but it’s fair assumption it will be around, supported and updated for a number of years yet, given Windows 7 had a life span of around ten years.

Our advice is to check (or if you’re unsure, contact someone for help) what computers you have which are running Windows 7, and then decide on a path for each on an individual basis – upgrade or replace? It’s important you do something, the very minimum should be for you to have a plan in place, ready for January 2020.

Gavin Moorhouse is the owner of Lucid Computer Solutions Ltd, which is based in Worcestershire, UK. They run Windows 10 on their computers. And use Chromebooks.

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