This time next year, Microsoft will no longer be supporting Windows 7, which according to analytics company Net Applications is still installed on 42.8% of PCs.
Microsoft, which introduced Windows 7 in 2009, ended mainstream support for the operating system in 2015, but still offers extended support for it until Jan 14, 2020.
“After that, technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your PC will no longer be made available for the product,” the company states on its website.
Older PCs can be upgraded to Windows 10 if they meet the minimum requirements set by Microsoft such as having at least a 1GHz processor. Windows 10 Home is listed for RM919 and Pro for RM1,299 on its site.
However, the company advises users and businesses to take advantage of the latest hardware capabilities and get a new computer instead of upgrading their older machines.
A study from global SMB (small and medium-sized business) IT market research and analyst organisation Techaisle claims that the cost of keeping a PC that’s older than four years is the same as getting a new machine.
“We found that the key barriers in migrating to a newer device were concerns of legacy applications not being able to work on a new operating system, along with the lack of budgets,” says Techaisle CEO and Analyst Anurag Agrawal.
“Too often, SMB owners focus on short term costs and while in most cases this approach is absolutely valid, at times it can lead to situations that cost them more.”
Support for Internet Explorer on Windows 7 devices will be discontinued on the same day as well – as a component of Windows operating system, Internet Explorer follows the same support lifecycle, says Microsoft.
Though Windows 7 can still be used, installed and activated on PCs, it will be open to newer attacks as it will no longer receive security updates.
According to security ratings firm BitSight, two-thirds of the over 300,000 PCs attacked by the WannaCry ransomware in 2017 ran Windows 7 without the latest security updates.
It was one of the biggest cybercrimes to hit the world, and probably a great reminder to keep our PCs and devices updated at all times.