Support for Windows 7 is ending on January 14, 2020, so after this date Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, software updates or support for PCs running this operating system. If you continue to use Windows 7 after support has ended, your PC will still work, but it may become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. How much of a problem this is will depend upon the tasks for which you use your computer. For instance, if the computer is used for online banking and shopping then the increased security risks will be a major concern. However, if the computer is used purely as a word processor and is rarely connected to the internet then the increased security risks will be much less of a concern.
So what are your options?
Option 1 – Do nothing. You can accept the increase in risk of hacking, viruses etc. and continue to use your computer as before, or manage the risk by reducing your exposure to danger by minimizing connection to the internet and other sources of threat. I would recommend this option only in circumstances where the additional security threat is acceptable. This may be your only choice if you need to run legacy software that definitely won’t run under any of Windows 10’s compatibility modes.
Option 2 – Upgrade to Windows 10. This can be costly and is only worth doing if your hardware/application software is top of the range and would be expensive to replace, is Windows 10 compatible and you need the security benefits gained from the upgrade. When carrying out software upgrades on older hardware there is always the risk of going to the expense and trouble of carrying out the upgrade only to find that a critical hardware component fails shortly afterwards, rendering the upgrade pointless. I would recommend this option only in circumstances where the cost of the Windows 10 license and labour is relatively small in comparison to the cost of the hardware/application software, for instance a high-end workstation.
Option 3 – Buy a new computer with Windows 10 preinstalled. This is usually my preferred option as the benefits include the fact that the hardware will be up-to-date and guaranteed to work with Windows 10, and will have a manufacturer’s warranty of at least a year. It is also a great opportunity to leave behind redundant software, data and settings and start afresh with only the software and data that you need. Do bear in mind that the software applications (such as older versions of Microsoft Office) installed on the Windows 7 computer will be licensed to that hardware and new licenses/versions will need to be purchased for installation onto the new computer. In some circumstances such as with the annually renewable Microsoft Office 365 and various security suites the license is transferrable from the old computer to the new one.
To discuss your options in more detail please get in touch.