January 14th, 2020 is less than a year away. For many, this doesn’t seem to mean much, even though it should. Windows 7 is going End-of-Life on this date, meaning the end of extended support from Microsoft for this operating system. This doesn’t mean your Windows 7 computer will suddenly stop working or that you won’t be able to access your data. What it does mean is that as new security vulnerabilities are found, your computer will no longer be getting patches from Microsoft to fix them.
Microsoft has announced a temporary solution for organizations that need to continue using Windows 7 (and that can afford it). The Windows 7 Extended Security Updates program will continue to provide updates to covered machines for up to 3 years from the End-of-Life date. While cost specifics for this program haven’t been announced to the public, it isn’t likely to be a feasible option for most.
For a few, upgrading your existing system to Windows 10 might be an option, it’s pretty iffy. While many took advantage of the free upgrade period when Windows 10 first came out, and several of them can attest to, being able to install Windows 10 is not a guarantee that your computer will continue to work with Windows 10 after future updates. One aspect with this to consider is the age of your computer. While not definitive, a hardware age of about 5 years is around the outside range for considering an OS Upgrade to Windows 10. This is because of driver and hardware compatibility as well as remaining physical hardware usable lifespan.
Honestly, the most effective and lasting option is to replace the computer with a new Windows 10 machine. While this can cause headaches and concerns of its own, it will likely be better in the long run. Privacy concerns in Windows 10 have been a major sticking point for many, though most of these can be effectively managed through system settings. There is also a slight learning curve in regards to Windows 10 versus previous versions as there are some differences. For most, this is manageable and just takes some practice.
If looking at getting a new Windows 10 machines, the biggest issues come down to choosing the right computer for you and what you will actually use it for, setting it up properly (modifying privacy settings, etc), and migrating your data from your old system to the new one. While some stores purport to do this well, a local, reputable, small tech business may be a better option and have higher attention to detail.
While buying a new computer for some is an exciting adventure, for others, it turns out to be a nightmare. Here are some common issues:
If you need help figuring out what new computer options would work well for you, we do offer the Computer Purchasing Concierge Service, helping to take most of the headaches out of the process, and along with the New Computer Setup with File Transfer, making it a smoother, more informed, and confident transition for you.