Everything comes with an expiration date, even bottled water! If you are running a computer with Windows 7, your computer will have severe problems on January 14th, 2020. On that date, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7.
What Does That Mean?
Microsoft did this with Windows XP back in 2009 and Vista in 2017. After they discontinue support, they won’t fix any bugs in the operating system. That puts your security and identity at risk. It also means that systems using it aren’t compliant with various security standards like FINRA for financial advisors, HIPAA for medical professionals and PCI for those people who take credit cards.
Security updates are essential to protect everyone. When someone at Equifax failed to do a security update, they put everyone at risk. Banks won’t allow you to connect to their sites without a newer operating system. Airlines might not allow you to schedule flights. For your protection, we won’t support systems running Windows 7 after that date. We can’t knowingly put clients in harm’s way on the internet.
What Can You Do?
Remember when Microsoft put Windows 10 on people’s computer for free, sometimes without consent? Unfortunately, they aren’t offering that. There are ways around that “free” offer, but it requires erasing your computer and reinstalling everything.
You can buy a copy of Windows 10 and install it on your computer, but that will cost around $100 or so.
But I Heard Windows 10 Was Bad or I Want to Stay with Windows 7
When Windows 10 came out, just like Vista or Windows 8, it was horrible. Anytime a new operating system comes out there is an adjustment period. We saw ever since Windows 3.1. Windows Vista and Windows 8 were particularly troublesome. Windows 10 was unique because systems that were “forced” into an upgrade were not always ready for it.
Now, Windows 10 is reliable and stable on new computers. We see minimal problems in comparison to problems we saw with older operating systems. It is often “self-healing” and solves its own problems.
If you want to stay with Windows 7, you can, but we’d suggest staying off the internet at all costs. The internet just isn’t safe unprotected. If you’ve got a specialty program that only runs on Windows 7, that’s fine as long as it doesn’t use the internet. We recommend after January 14th, 2020 to turn off the wifi and unplug the internet from these computers.
Another alternative is to create a “virtual machine” for these programs. We can install Windows 7 inside a Mac or PC and have that virtual machine run just your special program and disable only Windows 7 from the internet. We’re currently doing that for some clients running Windows XP or Windows Vista
Our Recommendation: Replace The Computer
Any computer currently running Windows 7 is probably around six years old since Windows 8 was introduced in 2012. We tend to see problems with computers after about three years since that is the average life of a hard drive. With a laptop, there are the added problems with power chargers, batteries and keyboard. Most Windows 7 systems thus are likely to fail soon. If you spend money upgrading the operating system, you’ll be more likely than not find the computer inoperable relatively sooner.
Since we don’t sell computers, only repair them, we’re primarily talking ourselves out of work. We’d rather tell you the right thing to do, even if it impacts our bottom line. Of course, if you need your pictures, documents (stuff in Word, Excel), emails and music copied to a new computer we can help with that.
You don’t have to run out and buy one today; you have a year after all. However, I’d suggest budgeting for one in 2019, so you aren’t surprised.