Microsoft Ends Windows 7 Support | What does that Mean?

Sanjeev Dulal 15 Jan, 2020

Microsoft has ended its Windows 7 operating system support from January 14. Microsoft says that the company has stopped supporting Windows 7 from Tuesday so that it can focus on "newer technologies". For this, Microsoft is shutting down all support that is available for Windows 7. It's called the end of Microsoft's, 'End of Life'. In the language of technology, End of Life (EOL) is an end of mainstream services like virus protection, bug fixing service, security updates, and new features. This puts users at high risk of malware attacks.

What does this mean?

The end of support means that Microsoft is ending services and protection of Windows 7 so that the hackers seeking to exploit software bugs in the Windows 7 operating system might be able to enter the system.  Without continued software and security updates, Windows 7 computers or devices are more prone to be affected by viruses and malware, Microsoft wrote on its website.

"Running an unpatched machine means that the flaws in the code will never be fixed and as exploits for those flaws become known and widespread, your chances of being successfully attacked grow very rapidly," said Rik Ferguson, vice-president of security research at Trend Micro.

To recall, from January 2015, Microsoft had shut down Mainstream support for Windows 7. Starting January 14, 2020, Microsoft is discontinuing any remaining services in Windows 7. As a result, users of a decade-old Windows 7 will have to update their operating system to Windows 10. Microsoft has advised all users to upgrade the operating system to Windows 10 to defend their computers from viruses and other cyber threats.

Risks Factors

The major risk of using Windows 7 from now is you aren't secure. Hackers may use malware to attack, harm or disable your computers. It can be used to steal private and commercial data, spy on other users without them identifying, and to hold businesses to recover until payment is made.

There is a lot of evidence of Hackers' abusing vulnerabilities in unpatched versions of Windows 7, as well as to a more inferior extent the more initial Windows XP, which Microsoft had closed support. 

According to another news, Microsoft will not shut down Windows 7 completely. There are still millions of personal and corporate users worldwide using Windows 7 on their computers. Users who want to use Windows 7 will have to pay a hefty fee to get Windows security support. According to a report by Kaspersky, 40 percent of the world's small companies and 48 percent of medium and large companies are still using Windows 7 in their offices.

What should you do with your Windows 7 PC?

Computers operating on Windows 7 will still run after Tuesday but they will become less protected. Microsoft is recommending people to move to Windows 10, a fresher operating system that it sells for almost 20,000 NPR. "Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10," it said. "And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC."

It is likely to install Windows 10 on old PCs but Microsoft advises that it may not run placidly. In order to run Windows 10, PCs must have atleast 1GHz processor, 16GB of hard drive space, and 1GB of RAM memory but even with these specs, you can't run Windows 10 smoothly. "While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended," Microsoft said. That said, Windows 7 users do not need to renew if they use their PC offline.

On the other hand, Windows 7 features don't even stop to work completely. Even if you want to run Windows 7 on your computer and go online, you are at the risk of a virus attack. Remember, Windows 7 was attacked by the WannaCry virus in 2017 and that led to a huge loss for different institutions.

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