End of Microsoft Windows 7 lifecycle: Here’s all you need to know

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 14, 2020

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The official support for Microsoft Windows 7 comes to an end today, January 14. According to an official release by Microsoft, “Microsoft will not be providing technical support for any issues, software updates, security updates or fixes for Windows 7 post-January 14.”

This comes as no surprise as Microsoft had already ended mainstream support for Windows 7 back on January 13, 2015, ceasing to add new features and ending the validity of warranty claims.

The move is a step towards Microsoft’s one billion device goal, aiming to have the Windows 10 operating system running across a billion devices across the globe.

Microsoft had previously stated it aims to have Windows 10 running on more than one billion devices by the end of this year after eclipsing 900 million last September, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The next step

Individual users can still use Microsoft 7, even install and run it on their devices, but the system, now being outdated, will be even more vulnerable to cyber threats. Hackers have been constantly targeting severe bugs in the Windows 7 system to hack and control devices externally. Google had even issued a warning against the said problem back in March 2019, according to a BBC news report.

If you would still wish to continue wish using Windows 7, you must have all your security checks in place. Microsoft stated that it will continue to provide updates for the in-built anti-virus program for Microsoft 7 which is the Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) app. Users must update the security essentials app timely in order to ensure maximum safety against malware and ransomware attacks.

For users who wish to update to Windows 10, they can try and do so for free using the Windows Media Creation Tool, Tech Radar reported. You can simply open the tool, enter your Microsoft 7 licence key and update to Windows 10. Users must be careful while updating to Windows 10. You must update your existing software from the Media Creation Tool and not install Windows 10 to run the update. If you install and run the Microsoft 10 update anew, you will be required to pay for the software.

Based on Microsoft’s website, prices for the Windows Home operating system start from $139 for the Home version and can go up to $339 for the Pro version, the latter providing an extensive set of features including enhanced security.

Navigating close of support of Windows 7 for businesses

According to a Livemint report, the move can boost Microsoft’s PC business should users choose to go for the upgrade as 35 per cent of all enterprise PCs in Asia still continue to run on Windows 7, as per GlobalData, a UK-based data and analytics firm.

For businesses using Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise, Microsoft has given an extension in terms of providing security updates, according to Microsoft’s official website. Businesses of all sizes can pay additional charges to Microsoft and receive the Windows 7 Extended Security Updates until 2023 for businesses of all sizes.

Free upgrades for Windows 10 are also available for businesses using the Microsoft 365 Business suite and can be activated after support for Microsoft 7 has ended.

According to Microsoft’s website, “By purchasing Microsoft 365 Business, your users can upgrade all of their old Windows Pro licensed devices at no additional cost.”

Transitioning to Windows 10

Microsoft has done a good job of making Windows 10 compatible with a lot of older devices with minimum glitches. The minimum requirement in terms of PCs or laptops to run efficiently with Microsoft 10 is to have a Windows 7 SP1, along with a 1GHz or faster processor, says Tech Radar.

A DirectX 9 graphics card or later version with WDDM 1.0 driver with 800 x 600 display resolution is required for running Windows 10.

As for space, minimum RAM capacity should be 1GB for a 32-bit OS or 2GB for 64-bit OS with a 16GB hard disk space for a 32-bit OS or 20GB for a 64-bit OS. However, it is advisable to have at least a 4GB ram with a 128-GB hard disk for the system to run smoothly with Microsoft 10.

Pro-tip, make sure to take a back-up of all your files either to an external hard-disk or to the cloud before you proceed with the upgrade.

Microsoft will also end official support for Microsoft Office 2010 on October 13, 2020

According to Netmarketshare, the global market share of Windows 8.1 in 2019 was 4.09 per cent, Livemint reported.

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Published on January 14, 2020
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