Tech Tuesday – Windows 7 – Is it Dead Yet?

Many in the technology field are reporting on the imminent demise of Windows 7. 

NOTE:  Windows 7 is the last version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system that I felt comfortable actually recommending to clients.  It’s ease of use, simple and straight-forward approach to managing applications along with it’s general stability made it a no-brainer versus that of Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. 

Sure, there were technical challenges with Windows 7, but, every Microsoft operating system has them.  It was the ease of use that set it apart from the most recent versions 8, 8.1 and 10.

In December of 2018 statistics finally showed that Windows 10 had more market share than Windows 7.  With Windows 10 having 39.22% vs. 36.90% for Windows 7 – see link to data here

“Fun Fact”

Did you know that for the first time ever Windows 10 was offered as a FREE upgrade?  Did you know that they did it for it’s first full year?  This massively helped it’s adoption in the consumer world.  Now after 3.5 years of being pre-installed on new computers Windows 10 has finally overtaken the ancient but reliable Windows 7.   

But is Windows 7 Dead Yet?  

Don’t be afraid of news stories warning of Microsoft ending support for Windows 7, security updates for Windows 7 will continue until January of 2020

It’s normal for Microsoft to stop putting out security updates for a retired operating system.  In theory they need to move their resources on to their current operating system to stay efficient and profitable.   Just know that for Windows 7 you’ve got until January of 2020, that’s when Microsoft will no longer provide security updates to Windows 7. 

Furthermore, in corporate installations the vast majority of computers are still using Windows 7.  Many are strongly resisting the switch to Windows 10 due to a variety of factors.   A little over a year ago some studies showed that Windows 10 only had 10% adoption in the corporate world.  My personal experience in the field shows that number to be closer to 30% today.

Will Windows 7 Be Dead in 2020? 

Technically no.  You can still use the operating system, but, I wouldn’t recommend it. 

Even with an up to date Internet Security software application running you will be leaving yourself open to whatever new security hacks and flaws are discovered in the operating system from January 2020 onward.  If you want to disconnect your computer from the Internet, then it might still be OK to use it.

Zombie Corporate Computers

Money talks.  If you are a big business client and you want to pay Microsoft to continue providing security updates, they will do it for you.  It will cost a pretty penny though.  However, you can then keep using Windows 7 with security updates up until January 2023.

So, It’s Not Quite Dead Yet?

Windows 7 isn’t dead yet.  But, you need to be making plans before January of 2020 to upgrade your PCs either to Windows 10 or to a more stable operating system like Linux.  

Don’t rush.  I would advise that you wait until the second half of 2019 before upgrading or replacing Windows.  It has always been true that patience is usually rewarded with a more stable and reliable version of any Microsoft product. 

Microsoft generally needs several years to work out the bugs and come to their senses, Windows 10 is certainly no exception.  

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