If you use Microsoft Windows 7, you may have seen a message regarding the January 2020 cut off time and you may be wondering, what does this mean, and how will it affect you?
You are most likely aware of Windows Updates, that dreaded and annoying thing that happens every month at seemingly random times, sometimes locking your computer up, or preventing you from turning off the computer at night with a tantalizing message of “Please don’t unplug your computer, we’re doing updates”
These updates however are vitally important, as they are the main line of defense against virus-makers and hackers around the world. When Microsoft release an update, the virus makers can see exactly what that update fixed and therefore Microsoft inadvertently tells every knowledgeable hacker out there how exactly to attack a computer that does not have these updates.
This is where the Windows 7 cutoff comes into play.
From January 2020 and onwards, Windows 7 will no longer receive updates, as they have been supporting the system for 11 years. The more time that you spend on Windows 7 from that moment, means that you are at increasing risk of getting a virus infection that you will be unable to remove or protect yourself from.
What is the solution?
The next version of Windows that will expire is Windows 8.1, which expires on January 10 2023. You could upgrade your computer to Windows 8.1 and have 3 years of use before the same happens, or you could upgrade to Windows 10, which Microsoft would recommend.
In an ideal world, you could upgrade your existing Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 and in some cases that is a viable solution. However we’ve been finding that many computers of that age are not capable of running Windows 10 in a smooth fashion, in which case the better option is to buy a newer computer with Windows 10 already installed from the factory.