Windows 7 support will end on January 14, 2020. This date is rapidly approaching and Microsoft is holding firm (unlike with Windows XP when Microsoft relented and extended support). What does the end of life for Windows 7 mean? What will happen if you continue using 7 after support stops? Should I upgrade my existing computer or purchase new? Is there any other option other than upgrading to Windows 10? With time quickly running out, choosing a path forward can seem very daunting.

The first patch Tuesday of 2020 Microsoft will release the last scheduled round of updates for Windows 7. From that point forward, only vulnerabilities deemed critical by Microsoft will be patched which leaves the operating system susceptible. There will also be no software improvements or fixes. Without these improvements and fixes, newer versions of software will stop supporting Windows 7 as well. If you do not update beyond Windows 7, it will leave your computer vulnerable to new exploits and leave you behind when new versions of software are released.

The age and hardware of your current system will play a large role in deciding if upgrading or replacing is the right decision. With no clear way to determine the lifespan of a system, a general rule of thumb is to strongly consider replacing hardware that has reached four years of age. Since Windows 10 is a more taxing operating system using at least 8 gigabytes of memory, a processor no more than 3 generations of age can adequately support it. For increased performance, upgrading to a solid state system drive is recommended. While lesser hardware is supported, most users feel the speed of their systems are too slow for daily use. One last consideration is the cost of upgrading your current hardware vs purchasing new. Prices of complete systems are at an all time low unless upgrades are minimal or there is a specific reason. For that reason, usually the most cost effective option is replacing.

Most Windows users will be upgrading from 7 to 10 or you can upgrade to Windows 8.1 from 7 with support ending January 10, 2023. A tablet oriented interface and some original reliability issues can be taken care of through updates. Windows 8.1 does have some devoted followers but unless you are familiar with the interface, most users will find it confusing to use at best. Other options would be leaving the Microsoft ecosystem entirely. You can opt to switch over to Apple with OSX or stick with PC hardware and install Linux. Prior to switching operating systems, a great deal of research needs to be done as to what applications you use and if they are compatible. If not, you need to see if there is an equivalent replacement.

We can help you navigate your options and find the right fit for you. Call us today at 860-557-8060.

Some helpful resources

October 25, 2019
Steven Nuhn