According to a recent announcement from Microsoft, the company will officially begin Windows 7 end-of-life phase on January 14th, 2020. This means beginning from that day onward, Microsoft will cease to support the Windows 7 operating system (OS) on desktops and laptops and will no longer provide security updates.

For consumers and businesses alike, this may cause for some concern. Windows 7 is still a wildly popular operating system to this day, 10 years after its release, and used by millions of people around the world. Even with Microsoft’s push to move customers over to their latest operating system — Windows 10 — there are still many of those out there who still stubbornly prefer to keep using Windows 7. It may come a surprise to some that Windows 10 only surpassed Windows 7 as the most popular version of Windows at the end of fourth quarter 2018.

While there’s certainly nothing stopping anyone from continuing to use Windows 7, there are a few very good reasons why one should consider upgrading.

  • End-of-life means that anytime you encounter a bug or crash related to your operating system, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows 7. From the end date onward, you’ll be on your own.
  • After the end date, Microsoft will also no longer roll out security patches for Windows 7. For past operating systems, Microsoft has offered some hefty patches for the OS before the end date. But that means from then onward, it’s free game for hackers to take advantage of a vulnerable operating system.
  • When Microsoft announces they will no longer support an OS, other third-party applications will no doubt decide the same thing. Any applications or programs not developed by Microsoft may not initially pull their support for Windows 7 immediately after the end date, but many will eventually.

But how about Internet Explorer? For those unaware, Microsoft has developed the Edge browser for its current OS, essentially as a replacement for Internet Explorer. Microsoft has stated that Internet Explorer is considered a “component of the Windows operating system”, making it susceptible to the same end-of-life phase out. Like Windows 7, this could mean that Internet Explorer could become a big target for hackers looking to exploit an obsolete system.

If you’re looking for help on how to upgrade your OS, here’s a handy article.

At All Systems Integrated, we always work to ensure that our equipment is up-to-date and secured with the latest security patches and applicable software. If you have any questions about your system, be sure to call our office at (253) 770-5570 or contact us via email.