Windows 7 End of Life: What Does it Mean & How to Prepare?

The End of Life warning sounds rather final, right?

According to Microsoft, the Windows 7 Doomsday is set for January 14, 2020.

But what does that mean for the regular folk who still enjoy the simplicity of the good old Windows 7 over the flashiest and more hip Windows 10?

As it turns out, you have three options:

  • Upgrade to Windows 10
  • Select an alternative OS
  • Move forward with Windows 7 at your own risk

Let’s have a look at each one, so you can better understand what is happening.

Upgrade to Windows 10 (Highly Recommended)

Let’s make one thing clear: although it sounds final, the Windows 7 End of Life doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly see an “Operating System missing” message on your device on January 15, 2020.

However, it does mean that Microsoft won’t be releasing any more updates, patches, or security fixes for this version of Windows.

While this doesn’t sound too scary, it should!

If your operating system is not supported by updates, it leaves your device(s) open to security threats. Moreover, ill-intended people will start working on malicious software designed specifically for Windows 7 users, since it will be easier to poke holes to an unsupported version.

So, our recommendation is to start thinking about an upgrade.

The most logical step for many users is an upgrade to Windows 10. You can get to keep all your files and favorite apps, the medium is similar, and the upgrade is not as disruptive as installing a new OS.  Even more, there are still ways to make the upgrade for free (even though Microsoft doesn’t provide the tool for this anymore).

However, free upgrades don’t work for everybody, so you may still have to buy the license (which is not exactly low-cost). Furthermore, Windows 10 is a modern OS that needs modern hardware to run smoothly. So, before upgrading, make sure your devices support the minimum specifications:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster (we recommend at least a 2GHz dual-core processor)
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit (although 8GB would be ideal)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS (160GB so the OS will run well)
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800 x 600 resolution

If you need help with the upgrade, Onsite Helper also offers Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrades!

An Alternative OS

If Windows 10 is really not your cup of tea, there are other options. One of the most cost-effective and reliable option is Chrome OS, which runs on Google Chromebook and Chromebox devices.

These devices are secure, affordable, and can be extremely helpful for a business who uses Google software products such as the ones found in the G Suite packages. Even more, the devices integrate well with businesses who use the cloud to store files and promote remote collaborative work.

So, if you decide to jump ship, let our team know! Onsite Helper is a reliable Google partner and can help your business move to Chrome OS quickly and swiftly.

Keep On with Windows 7

As we already mentioned, this is a risky road.

However, Microsoft offers a solution to businesses who run on Windows 7, which come in the shape of Extended Security Updates. This means that you can still receive security updates after the End of Life date if you’re using Windows 7 Enterprise or Pro.

However, you’ll be charged for these updates on a yearly basis, per device. As a result, this may prove to be one of the costlier options.

Wrap Up

While Windows 7 is still one of the most popular versions, it is time you said your goodbyes and move on to better things. This is valid for both individuals and businesses, as the decision you take now will influence the level of productivity, security, and overall performance for the years to come.

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