Windows 7, Microsoft’s run-away success of an operating system, is nearing the end of it’s life. Microsoft placed Windows 7 into “extended support” back on January 13, 2015 meaning it was no longer actively developing new features for the operating system, instead it is only fixing security vulnerabilities when they are discovered. They will end all support for the OS on January 14, 2020.

This “end-of-life” for Windows 7 means it will no longer receive any security updates even if major vulnerabilities are discovered. This will leave the system vulnerable to hackers and other ne’er-do-wells who would like to gain access to susceptible computers.

This life-cycle of computer operating systems is nothing new. Windows XP went through the same thing in 2014 to much hype and chagrin. At the end of 2018, it was estimated that 36.9% of all personal computers and 42.8% of all Windows PCs were still running Windows 7, so there are quite a few computers that will need to be upgraded or replaced over the course of this year.

So, what does this mean for you? If your computers are running Windows 8 or 10, you have nothing to worry about. If you are still using Windows 7, either because you like the OS and didn’t want to upgrade, or you just haven’t bought a new computer in a while, you should strongly consider purchasing a new computer sometime in 2019. No, your Windows 7 computer won’t stop working on January 14, 2019, but as time marches forward from that date, you can be sure hackers will be looking for vulnerabilities to exploit knowing that Microsoft won’t be patching them. They very well may be holding onto ones they’ve found already, keeping them secret until the deadline so they won’t be patched.

You have all of 2019 to decide what to do. If you would like advise on a new system, feel free to contact me and we can discuss your options.

-Luke

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