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RIP Windows 7 22-10-09 – 14-01-20

It was fun while it lasted!

In one year from now (January 2020), Microsoft will discontinue all support and updates, including security updates for Windows 7. This is called “End of life”, which basically means that an application or operating system is no longer supported by the company that makes it.

As we have mentioned before, running End of life, old or infrequently updated software on your computer is dangerous, and whilst many software developers do continue to release updates to fix security issues, this is not always the case.

So, what are the dangers of End-of-life software?

• Software incompatibility: New applications are optimised for the most recent operating systems, meaning that when using EOL operating systems, you can’t upgrade to the latest, more improved applications. Any legacy applications you insist on hanging onto have already reached their EOL or they will soon.

• Security vulnerabilities: As mentioned above, no more security fixes will be issued by Microsoft for Windows 7. A firewall and anti-virus are not sufficient protection as hackers can still exploit vulnerabilities within these operating systems, thus enabling them to gain access to your files and personal data.

• Compliance issues: Regulated industries like healthcare and e-commerce deal with lots of sensitive customer data. Entrusting personal and or critical information to a decade-old OS or an unsecure application, could, in addition to security lapses, result in big fines, company shutdowns, or possible prison time.

• High operating costs: The costs of maintaining and fixing bugs on any post-EOL software can be high. The expense of paying Microsoft to patch an EOL operating system can be more expensive than simply replacing it. Let alone the high cost of a critical app failing.

• Poor performance and reliability: If you’re still running legacy apps or old versions of Windows, then you must be using archaic computers and servers, once again adding to your risk since any out-of-warranty devices are likely to break down. If you are running a business, downtime alone could be more expensive than an overdue upgrade.

Our advice to anyone still using Windows 7 is to upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible. It supports apps that can be used across multiple devices, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones; it also supports both touchscreen and keyboard/mouse input methods; it is faster than Windows 7, and provides so many other useful benefits. Yes, there are differences between the two interfaces but, as a Windows user, you should catch on quickly enough.

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Philip Brooks