How to prepare for Windows 7 End of Life

Windows 7 Logo
Microsoft recently announced that it will officially begin the Windows 7 end of life phase on Jan. 14, 2020. On that day, the company will stop supporting Windows 7 on laptops and desktops, and will no longer patch it with security updates. So what does this mean for you?

What does Windows 7 end of life mean?

End of life is the term that Microsoft uses to identify the period when the company will no longer support an operating system or application.
In this case, it means that, as of Jan.14, 2020, Microsoft will move on from Windows 7 and no longer patch security holes in the operating system. And if things go awry and bugs develop, you won’t be able to call on Microsoft to fix the problem.
If you continue to use Windows 7 after support has ended, your PC will still work, but it may become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.

Does end of life apply to all Windows 7 versions?

Windows 7 Versions end of life applies to all Home, Ultimate and Pro versions.
But if you’re using Windows 7 embedded systems in point-of-sale terminals and other devices, it’s a bit of a moving target. For instance, Microsoft actually ended its support for Windows Embedded POSReady 7 back in 2016. But if you’re on a Windows 7 Ultimate for Embedded Systems platform, the company hasn’t announced any end-of-lIfe timetable.
Microsoft have created a guide to help with determining whether your Windows 7 version is coming to its end-of-life period.

What can you do about Windows 7 end of life?

If you still use Windows 7 there are a number of things we’d recommend in preparation for Windows 7 End of Life. The first is to consider upgrading to a newer operating system.

1. Upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7

While you have a number of choices when moving operating systems, for many people, the obvious and simplest option is to upgrade to Windows 10.
If you want to upgrade to Windows 10, you can do so free of charge and with a full Windows 10 license, as long as you have a computer that meets all of the minimum requirements needed to run the operating system.

  1. Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC.
  2. RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
  3. Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
  4. Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
  5. Display: 800 x 600 resolution

2. Stick with Windows 7 past January 2020

If you run a business that still uses Windows 7, upgrading all your hardware to Windows 10, and retraining staff, might prove problematic before January 2020.
However, you don’t want to risk running an operating system that doesn’t get security patches. The good news is that Microsoft will be offering Windows 7 Extended Security Updates, which will continue to deliver updates and patches for Windows 7 business users after January 2020.