Many people are aware of the upcoming End of Life date for Microsoft Windows 7 support on January 14th, 2020. Either you’ve read about it, heard people talking about it, or maybe even your IT provider has mentioned it to you. But what does it really mean?
When Microsoft ends support on products such as Windows 7 it can mean several things for the end user. The first thing you should understand, though, is that your computer will continue to work past January 2020. Rest assured, you can still use your Dell Optiplex, sporting an 800 MHz, 32-bit processor with 512 MB of RAM that you upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows 7 back in 2009. But what it does mean is: no technical support, no software updates, and no security updates. You can’t call Microsoft with questions, they won’t submit any new product enhancements, and most importantly, they will not release any more security updates. Even though your pc will still work, over time it will rapidly become a risk as malicious software hackers find ways to exploit it (and you).
You have two options when it comes to moving to Windows 10: upgrade your existing computer, or replace your computer altogether. Obviously, each one has its pros and cons. Upgrading is generally less expensive up front, but you could be running a version of an application that is not compatible with Windows 10. You could also be running an extremely bloated version of Windows 7 that is making you pull your hair out due to slowness. These two problems will compound when you run the Windows 10 upgrade. And if your computer is old enough, there’s a chance that the hardware is not up to the minimum requirements set forth by Microsoft.
The true cost of slow systems can be surprisingly high for any business. Slow workstations are estimated to drop productivity by 2.75% (13 minutes per day, or 5.5 days per year). (Reference: Warranty Master: The True Cost of Slow Computers http://warrantymaster.com/blog/true-cost-slow-computers). As a result, the 1-year ROI for replacement of old systems is often 5X to 10X.
For the most part, we recommend that you invest a little more into technology and replace your aging Windows 7 pc’s with new Windows 10 computers. This investment will give you the opportunity to upgrade to newer software that is better compatible with Windows 10 and the hardware that accompanies it. You also have the chance to start fresh with a new pc that is running at an optimum pace. Windows 10 comes with some nifty features that make it well worth the time and money to upgrade.