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Microsoft deadline looms for Windows users, millions affected

SCI & TECH
By Mirror | January 15th 2019
Microsoft is retiring Windows 7 completely from next year. (Photo: Microsoft)

 

Microsoft is killing Windows 7 in exactly one year from today. The popular operating system hasn't been sold for some time, but millions are still using it daily thanks to widespread love.

From January 14, 2020 Microsoft will not support any consumer installs of Windows 7. Only Enterprise users will be able to pay for extended support - and that comes with a considerable price tag.

So what does this mean for normal users? Firstly, it means that there will be no more updates for the OS. That means that users a potentially open to more security exploits and viruses than, say, a Windows 10 user.

However, Microsoft will push critical security updates for the OS until next year. That should help with the worst exploits, but old operating systems are still more likely to see problems with security than new versions.

Obviously Microsoft stopped adding new features to Windows 7 some time ago so users won't be expecting any of those any time soon.

When Microsoft launched Windows 8 on October 26 2012 PC users where aghast. The new look for Windows was widely-hated thanks to the removal of start bar and a new full screen experience that largely hid the desktop.

At that point many swore to continue using Windows 7 until Microsoft reversed its attitude. And, with Windows 10 the company did indeed give users both the start bar and the desktop back.

But it seems that Windows 7 is still the favourite operating system of many. It accounts for 42.8 per cent of all PC operating systems while Windows 10 sits at 45.5 per cent.

Any home users running Windows 7 will be encouraged to upgrade to Windows 10 over the next year and any left using the old version by next year will be at severe risk from viruses and will lack customer support if there are problems.

When it was introduced Windows 10 was free for most existing Windows owners. Microsoft continued that offer for some time but many people refused to take the company up on it - preferring to stick with what they knew.

However, it's possible the company will entice Windows 7 users to the latest operating system as the deadline approaches.

If it doesn't then home users are looking at prices as high as £100 to upgrade, which might see them avoid getting away from Windows 7.

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