January 14th, 2020 signs the date in which Microsoft will stop providing security updates or support for systems operating Windows 7.

Effects on businesses

Windows 7 has been a trustworthy personal computer operating system. Produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT group of operating systems, it was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009. It then became generally available on October 22, 2009, less than three years after the release of its predecessor, Windows Vista.

As mentioned above, Microsoft has decided to come to an end with providing support for Windows 7. However, this is not as dramatic as it sounds, you can maintain your efficiency by simply moving to Windows 10. Statistics report that 39% of all PCs are still using Windows 7. As a consequence, the news that the support for Windows 7 will no longer be supplied motivated many users and businesses to begin thinking about updating their system to more recent operating systems.

This blog will explain how you can prepare for Windows 7 end of update. It will provide an overview  to why the end of support for Windows 7 is so crucial, as well as the options businesses have, and at how they can manage moving to Windows 10, Microsoft’s most recent operating system.

With the Windows 7’s support ending date rapidly approaching, Microsoft is working on informing all their users that support for the operating system is ending and is aiming to motivate and encourage individuals but especially businesses to move from the operating system.

Risk of doing nothing

Windows 7 will still be available for use after its Support end of like. However, this does not mean that it is a good excuse to keep using it. The concerning problem with continuing to use Windows 7 is that it will not be patched for any new bug, viruses or security problems once updates are off-limit. This leaves you and especially your business extremely vulnerable to any emerging threats.

Will Windows 7 be safe to use after January 14th, 2020? To a certain extent, yes, once an operating system enters extended support, the producers still ensure that it meets their quality and safety standards. However, they will not add any further updated features as it would happen during the ‘mainstream support’ phase. If a large quantity of users continue to use Windows 7 after January 2020, that could lead to a big incentive for malicious users to target viruses and other bugs at Windows 7.

From a business point of view this would also mean still operating with a dated operating system which would not look good in the eyes of potential clients. In addition, as Microsoft is moving on to focus on Windows 10, this will likely reduce the adaptability of the system as programs might require a more updated operating system to be installed in order to download them.

As with all operating systems, after a while it doesn’t make sense, both from a financial point of view and in terms of time and effort, to keep old software patched and updated, especially when there are newer versions of the software available.

What to do next

To avoid all the issues illustrated in the paragraph above, the most obvious and simple solution would be to update the operating system to Windows 10. For this matter, the company is releasing an update to Windows 7: KB4493132 - which will display notifications reminding Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 before the support and upgrades stops. The update is optional, but any user with automatic updates turned on will receive it. Microsoft includes as its scope to maintain the notification as not too obtrusive. Users will be able to prevent them from appearing again, but it will provide a clear message about how seriously Microsoft is about getting people to stop using Windows 7.

What is the first thing to do to update Windows to the latest operational system? For a start, you will need to purchase a Windows 10 license. There are a variety of licenses with different characteristics to meet your needs. These can be quite expensive – if the hope was to update Windows 7 without spending any money, this is not the way to do it. In addition, while Microsoft has done an admirable job of making Windows 10 able to run on older hardware, it’s still a modern operating system that might struggle to work well on your old Windows 7 machine. For this reason, it might be necessary to purchase new PCs or laptops which can better support Windows 10.

Benefits of updating Windows

Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 comes with a valuable number of benefits. Firstly, as both operating systems are programmed by Microsoft the upgrade process is relatively straight forward, and in most cases,  it is possible keep your files locally on your PC.

Consequently, there will be a minimum level of disruption when upgrading to Windows 10. Most programs downloaded and used will have automatically updated to work on Windows 10. Similarly, the layout and interface are really familiar and based off Windows 7, this is all planned to make the transition not too hard to adjust to. If you made the decision to upgrade to Windows 10, then you can buy a copy, download the installation file and run it to start the process.

Technical requirements for the update

The next step to update Windows 7 to Windows 10 is to meet the technical requirements necessary.

Here’s the minimum specification for Windows 10:

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) OR faster processor OR System-on-a-Chip (SoC)

RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit OR 2 GB for 64-bit

Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OR 20 GB for 64-bit OS.

Graphics card: DirectX 9 OR WDDM 1.0 driver.

Display: resolution of 800 x 600

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