Windows 7 has been one of the most popular and stable operating systems developed by Microsoft. Windows 7 offers a high level of customization and bug-free operation, which is why users like it so much. Some users are so hooked to Windows 7 that they do not even want to upgrade to Windows 10. However, in view of new and emerging security risks that can no longer be addressed in the old platform, Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 after January 14, 2020. It may be recalled that in April 2014, Microsoft had discontinued support for Windows XP, which was another of its bestselling operating systems.
What happens after Jan 2020?
When Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, you will stop getting security updates and bug fixes after January 14, 2020. As such, your Windows 7 PC will become highly susceptible to security risks. Hackers are known to utilize vulnerabilities present in a system and once Microsoft stops security updates, your computer will no longer be safe. Of course you can continue using your PC, but there will be a constant risk of your computer being hacked or compromised by computer virus.
What can you do?
There are four options after Microsoft discontinues support for Windows 7.
1). Upgrade to Windows 10: You can choose this option if you can pay for Windows 10. Cost of Windows 10 Home edition is $139, whereas Pro version is priced at $199. Windows 10 is a highly secure platform and a bestselling OS in the world.
2). Buy extended support: You can buy extended security updates for Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, and Windows 7 Ultimate, which will be valid till January 2023. Extended support will cover all critical and important security updates as identified by Microsoft Security Response Center.
3). Continue using Windows 7 with third-party anti-virus software: You can invest in good quality anti-virus software that will keep your Windows 7 PC protected from security threats. This is probably the cheapest option you have. However, no anti-virus can ensure 100% protection at all times and certainly not when Microsoft has stopped providing security updates. So, it’s certainly doable, but not completely risk free.
4). Switch to Mac OS or Linux: You can try these options if you want to experience something entirely new. Linux Mint is a good alternative to Windows and it is free. Mac OS is desirable, but it doesn’t come cheap.
Upgrading to Windows 10 appears to be the best option after Microsoft ends support for Windows 7. However, feel free to choose from the options above based on your specific needs and requirements.