On Tuesday 14th Jan 2020, Microsoft will officially end updates and support for Windows 7. The operating system will continue to function, Microsoft will stop offering technical support, software and security updates and fixes. Microsoft recommends replacing the operating system with Windows 10 because the lack of security updates, patches and maintenance fixes will make systems more vulnerable to viruses and cyber attacks such as Malware, Ransomware, and Trojans
According to data from analytics website Net Market Share, Windows 7 is still used on 26.6% of the world’s computers. Meaning many users will have to either look for other options or deal with the negative consequences of using the outdated software.
Windows 7 has been available since 2010. Windows 10 followed in 2015. While there are obviously many upsides to using a more recent operating system, some users have deliberately hung on to the old operating system because it’s what they know and understand. In general, in terms of operation Windows 10 is not vastly different.
When January 2020 comes along, support will stop. That doesn’t mean PCs running the OS will stop working, but it means there will be no more security updates or patches, and no technical support
That might not sound too bad, but running an unsupported version of Windows leaves individuals and businesses wide open to security risks. Continuing to use Windows 7 without patches and updates will leave systems vulnerable to new exploits and malware as they emerge. AV-Test.org registered 67.7 million new strains of Windows malware during 2018, and the situation is only likely to get worse, as some security experts believe that malware developers are holding potential Windows 7 exploits back, ready to unleash them as soon as support ends. For some businesses, running an unsupported OS isn’t even an option, as it will compromise basic due diligence and compliance standards. The BBC have an interesting article for further reading on the issue.