If you haven’t been sold on Windows 10, you’re not alone. To this day, Windows 7 remains the 2nd most popular Windows desktop operating system, with almost 34 percent of computer users using it globally. Despite mainstream support for Windows 7 ending in 2015, and Microsoft’s insistence on users making the switch, there are plenty of people still holding out. Privacy concerns over Windows 10 calling home to Microsoft have been a concern for many people. Whatever your reasons are for remaining with Windows 7, we’re sharing our tips for keeping it running as long as possible.
First, let’s review what’s going on with Microsoft and what users can expect in the short term.
• As of January 13, 2015 Microsoft support for Windows 7 ended. Canceling any new Service Packs and features for the operating system. Microsoft is however still patching the operating system.
• Extended support for users is still being offered until January 14, 2020. On this day, Microsoft will stop issuing new security updates and patches for Windows 7.
Ultimately what this means for Windows 7 fans is that it is safe to continue using it until 2020, assuming you continue installing updates. After that point, however, is a different story. Come January 14th, 2020, security patches will cease to apply to your computer, resulting in your machine becoming vulnerable to known exploits. This is very dangerous. Without proper patch management, cybercriminals will be able to compromise Windows 7 machines using known vulnerabilities in the operating system that are not patched.
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In the meantime, while users can still feel secure in their use of Windows 7 there are a couple of outlining factors to consider. While many users are hesitant to install updates in fear of ending up with Windows 10 accidentally, entirely avoiding them is not a secure option. You must apply security patches.
If you haven’t already, stopped using Internet Explorer. Microsoft has announced they will stop offering security updates for Internet Explorer 11 come 2020, and the latest Microsoft Edge is not available for Windows 7 computers. Fortunately, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are still reliable options for Windows 7 users. We can’t guarantee either of these browsers will continue offering Windows 7 support once Microsoft stops, but you will be able to utilize new features and updates for the time being.
Prepare to pay
In a blog post by Microsoft 365 Corporate VP Jared Spataro, it was announced that from January 14, 2020 a monthly fee, that doubles each year, will be implemented for Windows 7 users in order to keep their computers safe. Unfortunately, this offering is only available to Windows 7 Professional customers in Volume licensing. So the everyday user running Windows 7 Home will not be applicable.
A pricing plan obtained by ZDNet for Windows 7 Support is as followed:
• Year 1 (January 2020 - January 2021): $50 per device, with Windows 10 Enterprise add-on rate of $25.
• Year 2 (January 2021 - January 2022): $100 per device, with Windows 10 Enterprise add-on rate of $50.
• Year 3 (January 2022 - January 2023): $200 per device, with Windows 10 Enterprise add-on rate of $100.
While this increasing payment model was created to incentivize Windows 7 users to upgrade, the option to hold on to your preferred platform remains if you’re willing to pay for it. Whatever you choose to do, we hope these tips help!