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The Importance Of Upgrading Your Windows Desktops.


Windows 7 support is ending on January 14, 2020.  Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended back in January of 2015.  Microsoft has been providing extended support ever since and now that is coming to an end.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAINSTREAM AND EXTENDED SUPPORT?

Mainstream support is when a company like Microsoft offers full support for a product.  Full support means that besides offering security updates and patches or fixes to resolve issues,  they are actively working to improve and enhance the product. Mainstream support means that the operating system or software is still an ongoing concern for the company.   It means the company is spending time, money, and significant effort to ensure that your experience with the product is the best that it could be. As we all know, software companies, like Microsoft, will eventually retire an older version of their product to release a new version.  When this happens, that time, money and effort are moved to the new product, and less time is spent on the older versions. Extended support means that the product is no longer a priority for the company. They understand that many people and many companies will not upgrade the latest and greatest as soon as it comes out. So they continue to provide security updates as well as patches and fixes to issues to keep the operating system safe and secure for use.

WHAT ARE MY UPGRADE OPTIONS?

For Microsoft, its policy is to provide extended support for an operating system for five years.  An extended five-year window, no pun intended, will give people and companies enough time to plan their upgrades.  Often, those upgrades coincide with the purchase of new computers.  Most people, especially business owners and managers, will upgrade their computers within a five-year time frame.  The hope is that older operating systems will fall out of service due to attrition. For those that do not plan an upgrade or buy new computers have to make the decision to upgrade their operating systems in one of three ways.

  1. Buy new computers designed for the new operating system.  New operating systems often require more memory, more disk space, or better sound, video, or other hardware.  Getting new hardware will guarantee compatibility.

  2. Reinstall the new operating system on the current hardware.  Some people choose to back up their data and start from scratch with the new operating system on the old hardware.  This clean install ensures that no issues or corruption from the old operating system finds its way into the new operating system.  Some people like to have a “clean” install.

  3. In-place upgrade.  The easiest, though most risky upgrade, is to do an in-place upgrade from the new operating system to the new OS on the existing hardware.  Make sure your data is backed up and there is a risk that the upgrade will not work, and you will not be able to go back to your old OS.

Give Steve a call to discuss which is best for your circumstances.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EXTENDED SUPPORT ENDS?

Regardless of which method you use, you should upgrade.  End of extended support means that Microsoft will no longer release security updates or patches.  With the lack of updates, your old operating system will become a greater risk.  These risks can leave your computer and your information open to hackers.   Hackers will exploit possible security flaws knowing that Microsoft will no longer write the update to fix it. Aside from the security issues, any technical bugs that pop up will no longer be addressed.   As you introduce new software, such as new browsers, or office products, and new hardware, such as new printers or monitors, the possibility of issues increases significantly. With the end of support only weeks away, it is important to plan your next move.   Whether it is new hardware or an in-place upgrade, call Steven at Unfrustrating Computers.   You need to be ready when support for Windows 7 ends two weeks into the new year.

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