Microsoft has announced the end of free support for Windows 7 software, after providing 10 years of support, on 14 Jan 2020. It’s going to be the end of life-cycle for the Windows 7 operating system. That means Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for PCs using Windows 7 operating system. This means no more updates for the operating system as new vulnerabilities are discovered, it doesn’t mean that your old PC won’t turn on. The announcement means that one out of every three computers running on a Windows operating system is going to be technologically obsolete in a few months.
After that technical assistance and software updates from Windows update will not be available. After 14 January 2020, PCs with Windows 7 software will stop receiving security patches and updates. This will potentially make these computers prone to be attacked by viruses and malware.
Windows 7 PCs need to upgrade to newer operating systems
Microsoft strongly recommends that PCs with Windows 7 should install Windows 10 before the end of the support period. Microsoft mentioned it’s important that you upgrade to a modern operating system such as Windows 10, which can provide the latest security updates to help keep you and your data safer.
PCs with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 operating systems unaffected
If your laptop or PC runs in Windows 8.1, you will continue to get updates until Jan 2023. While Windows 10 users are expected to receive at least six more years of support.
Windows 8.1 and 10 will be the only versions that will be supported by Microsoft. So this is quite a relief for them as they can continue their work without any disruption
Reasons for Microsoft to stop supporting Windows 7
Some of the reasons that Windows 7 is ending is, supporting the software behind an outdated operating system has become too costly, even for a company as large and rich as Microsoft. Firstly, Microsoft is a software company simultaneously supporting multiple software products for almost similar functionality. For them, it may be difficult to support software released a decade back. Especially when Microsoft is at the same time providing software support for newer operating systems. Microsoft also points out that the 10 years life span for Windows 7 is longer than what’s offered by its competitors.
Windows versions and market shares
If you would look at the market share, Windows 10 has 67.3% of all Windows operating systems, coming to devices. Windows 7 has a 36.25 share of PC, falling slowly behind Windows 10 which is at 43.62%. Interestingly, for Windows 8.1 the market share of the PC market is 4.76% and for Windows XP it is 3.72%.
Windows 10 advantages
Windows 10 features aren’t available on Windows 7. Windows 10 is designed with a much more advanced level of security features. It is developed for the modern computing world, with all the threats and issues that users face every day and the entire operating system was built to deliver a large number of improvements including more robust and reliable software.
What this means for you?
Ultimately this means, it is safe to use Windows 7 until January 14, 2020. After that security patches will cease to apply to your computer, resulting in your machine becoming vulnerable to known exploits.