Microsoft isn’t playing around this time: support for Windows 7 will be ending in less than a year, and a recent round of updates include a pop-up on all Windows 7 machines reminding the user that the clock is now ticking down to January 14, 2020. If you haven’t seen pop-up already, you will probably start seeing it in April. Despite Microsoft’s near inescapable Windows 10 upgrade campaign, there are still millions of computers running Windows 7, and many of you are still quite content with the 10-year old operating system. Just like your favorite pair of jeans or comfy robe, Windows 7 will start having too many holes to use without exposing yourself.
It’s time to upgrade to Windows 10.
Regardless of yours or my thoughts on the matter, Microsoft really isn’t giving most of us a choice on this. “Why does losing Microsoft’s support for 7 matter to me? I never called them for issues in the first place!” While this is probably true for most of us, the support that is being ended is not just the help desk kind – believe it or not, Microsoft did offer actual technical support for Windows 7 issues – but also halting work on the security patches and compatibility updates. What this means as we move past the end of support for 7, any security flaws or bugs that crop up will no longer be fixed by Microsoft. “Fine! We can finally stop updating!” Maybe if your business doesn’t rely on working with anyone except your own internal people and data, but for the majority of the business world, isolating your technology operation like this ends up being more detrimental than it’s worth. We are seeing major shifts in all the primary business applications away from maintaining their Windows 7 compatibility; it is extremely difficult to purchase new computers with Windows 7 installed, and you cannot downgrade new computers from 10 to 7 without major complications and technical issues. While Windows 10 still seems to have some quality control issues, overall the platform has been relatively secure and stable, with issues mostly arising when it is used on older PCs (+5 years) and with older software and peripherals. Unless your computer was purchased in the past 3-4 years, your best bet is to purchase a new computer with Windows 10 already installed, but make sure you budget in upgrades for your applications (MS Office and Adobe Acrobat are the big ticket items) and your peripherals as well, especially older printers and scanners as well. It may seem like a lot of change all at once (and a lot of money as well), but it will be a wise investment in the long run.