Ask CyberGuru: Do I need to upgrade to Windows 10?

Ask CyberGuru: Do I need to upgrade to Windows 10?

Ask CyberGuru

In this month’s Ask CyberGuru, we are asked, “I am running Windows 7 and I have received a notification that Microsoft is ending updates and technical support for it. Is this legitimate and do I need to do this?”.

Yes, this is a legitimate notification which has been delivered as part of Windows Update recently. The message would look similar to this:

Windows 7 End of Life notification

As noted in the support notification, after 10 years of service, Microsoft will no longer offer security updates for computers running Windows 7 from 14 January 2020. As part of Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle, only its Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 operating systems will be supported from this date. Any computers running Windows 7 after this date will pose a significant security risk.

Given Windows 7 is used in a significant number of computers today, Microsoft is providing early notification to users to ensure that appropriate measures are undertaken to upgrade to a later operating system. Windows 10 has been on the market for almost four years and become an increasingly secure and stable operating system, making it the ideal replacement for Windows 7.

It is strongly recommended that you upgrade as soon as possible to ensure you are provided with the necessary security updates and technical support from Microsoft as required.

Depending on the age and type of computer, you may be able to upgrade to Windows 10 successfully without issues. If the computer is three or less years old, it is likely it will be able to be updated to Windows 10. Some older or custom-build computers, however, may need to be upgraded or replaced.

Unfortunately, the free upgrade offer which was available when Windows 10 was introduced is no longer available, with Windows 10 Upgrade media costing between $225 to $339 depending on the edition.

CyberGuru can assist through our Consulting solution by reviewing your computer equipment to provide the best advice for your needs, as well as providing any necessary training and support to assist you and your organisation make the change.

For more details, please see this Microsoft Support article (link opens in new window) or feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

One year to go until Microsoft ends extended support for Windows 7

One year to go until Microsoft ends extended support for Windows 7

One of the Microsoft’s most loved operating systems, Windows 7, has extended support close to ending. On 14 January 2020, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates and will stop providing assistance those using Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

NetMarketShare (link opens in new window) reports that as of December 2018, 40.86% are still using Windows 7, with Windows 10 close behind on 36.37%. 5.07% are running Windows 8.1.

Introduced nearly 10 years ago, Windows 7 improved on existing versions of Windows including Windows XP and Windows Vista. Microsoft also added many new features we are now take for granted, including touch capabilities, and others we have become more comfortable with, including Libraries in File Explorer.

According to the Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet (link opens in new window), mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on 13 January 2015, with extended support ending 14 January 2020. For users running Windows 8.1, support ended on 9 January 2018 with extended support for 10 January 2023.

Over the coming year, we suggest all computers running Windows 7 are upgraded to Windows 10 or replaced with new computers depending on their age and purpose. We are happy to assist clients and advise the most appropriate requirements for their needs.

If we can be of assistance to upgrading you from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and in need of consulting, support or training to help you make the move to a modern desktop, please contact us.

Microsoft silently ends mainstream support for Windows 7

Microsoft silently ends mainstream support for Windows 7

Mainstream support silently ended for Windows 7 on 13 January 2015. Whilst this hasn’t made the headlines as did the end of Windows XP’s support in April last year, where businesses were required to perform considerable upgrades to their computer’s hardware and software, it is a significant milestone to understand in terms of Microsoft’s support for their operating systems and the important of updates.

Whilst most users are notified during their computer’s system maintenance of required updates, it is important to note that the only major service pack issued for Windows 7, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is required, along with subsequent updates to continue to keep your Windows 7 computer securely protected.

According to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ (link opens in new window), end of mainstream support means that Microsoft will only provide paid support, security update support and non-security hotfix support (with an extended hotfix support purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending) along with product-specification information using the online Microsoft Knowledge Base. They will also still provide regular security updates to Windows, however new features and enhancements will not be available. Extended Support is available for a further five years, until 13 January 2020. Those not on Extended Support contracts are not able to seek Microsoft’s assistance without this arrangement.

It is also important to note that in a year’s time (12 January 2016), the Internet Explorer Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ (link opens in new window) advises that only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates.

It is worthwhile noting that through their Support Lifecycle Policies, Microsoft has certainly set a path to move its clients onto more recent operating systems, however that they will continue to provide updates for Windows 7 at least the next five years. At this stage, there is no need to move to Windows 8 if you are happy with Windows 7. However, the time will come between now and 2020 for an upgrade to newer computers and at this time may be an opportunity to upgrade to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.

If CyberGuru can be of any assistance through our Consulting solution to assist you with this, please contact us.