Windows 7 “End of Support” or “End of Life” Date is January 14th, 2020.
What exactly does this mean? What should you do?
We have answers to these questions and more. I will go in depth into this process and all of the options available to you. But first, long story short;
If you are using a PC with Windows 7, we highly recommend you upgrade to Windows 10 or replace the computer. Give us a call at 806 722 0770 or swing it by the shop and we can help you determine which option is the best investment of your time and money.
We expect to be covered up in this type of work later in the year, so the sooner we can get you away from Windows 7, the better.
If all of your machines are Windows 8.1, Windows 10 or Macs, you don’t need to worry about this. But please help us spread the word and share this with your friends, family and co-workers that still use Windows 7.
“What Exactly is End of Support?”
You may recall this same process happening with Windows XP several years ago.
Every Windows Operating System has an “End of Life” Date assigned to it. When this date arrives, Microsoft stops releasing updates and ends all support for it. This means;
No more security updates. This creates an environment that is increasingly dangerous to use as time passes. While an Operating System is still supported, Microsoft has a large team of people that look for security holes, and then release an update to patch that hole. This ends for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. So any security holes that other people discover, will stay wide open. This opens up people still using it to major security risks.
No more bug fixes. Occasionally a program, piece of hardware or driver will cause an issue with Windows that will result in failed updates, blue screens, etc. Fixes for these are releases in Windows Updates. Once End of Life hits, these end. Windows 7 will become more and more unstable over time.
No more support. Not that anyone will miss this process, but calling Microsoft to help with anything Windows 7 related will result in being told “Sorry, we no longer offer support for that Operating System.”
“Okay, but what does that actually mean for me?”
First, don’t panic, the actual End of Life date is around the corner, but we have time. We wanted to make sure all of our customers have plenty of time to make a plan for moving away from Windows 7.
It’s also worth noting that while Microsoft will end support for Windows 7, that doesn’t mean we will be doing the same. If for whatever reason, you still have Windows 7 next year, we are still here to help you. Do be aware that as time goes on, some things may not be “fixable” and will be an inevitable result of the Operating System not being supported. More on that below.
End of Life creates a snowball effect. On January 14, 2020, you will still be able to turn your computer on, check your email, use Word, play your games, etc. It probably won’t be dangerous (yet) and you will be able to do most everything else you could on January 13th. The only immediate change is that Internet Explorer in Windows 7 has the same End of Life date, so it may not work and you will need to use a different Web Browser (Chrome, Firefox).
Things will get worse from there.
As I mentioned above, it will be increasingly dangerous as time goes on and security exploits are found by the bad guys. Your personal data will be more and more at risk the longer you use it.
Eventually, software developers will also stop supporting Windows 7. This means the same things will occur for the programs you use. No security updates, no bug fixes. Dangerous and Unstable. Some programs will out right stop working. Taking a look at the End of Life process for XP gives us a good idea of what to expect with 7. In XP, some Antivirus programs won’t work, you can’t install some programs, the ones you can are more likely to be glitchy and unsafe.
Take a look at what happens when you try to install Google Chrome on a Windows XP machine;
“I Have Windows 7! What Are My Options?”
The good news is that you have plenty of options. The bad news is that it’s a lot of options. The best place to start is calling us or coming by and we can recommend a plan going forward for your specific situation.
Option 1 - Do Nothing
To be clear, we do not recommend this. We strongly don’t recommend this. However, it is an option and I wanted to get it out of the way. We still have customers that use XP, and a few that even have machines running Windows 98. Most of these are very specific cases where some important proprietary software won’t run on newer Operating Systems and the machines aren’t connected to the internet.
Pros: You don’t have to embrace change or learn a new operating system
Cons: Everything else
Option 2 - Upgrade
Most Windows 7 machines will run Windows 10 just fine. There are some that have trouble with Windows 10 without also upgrading memory or other components. We can tell you if your machine is worth upgrading or not. Upgrading involves backing up your data, formatting the hard drive, installing Windows 10 and then transferring your data back to the machine.
Pros: Cheaper than replacing the machine. You keep the machine you are used to.
Cons: This process can take several days.
Cost: $149 - $199 depending on if you have data you need transferred.
Option 3 - Buy a New Computer
Almost every laptop or desktop you can buy in 2019 will have Windows 10 pre-installed. You bring us the old and new machines and we will transfer all of your files to the new one.
Pros: You get a new computer.
Cons: More expensive than upgrading. Will still have to transfer data from old to new machines in most cases.
Cost: New Computer Price + $99 for Data Migration
Option 4 - SuperGeeks Custom Desktop with Windows 10
We can build you a custom PC to meet your specific needs. All of our custom builds come with Windows 10. We can build anything from a small black PC for your office all the way to a unique red and black themed machine with lights for your home.
Pros: Custom built to your needs. You won’t pay for internal components that you won’t need or utilize.
Cons: More expensive than upgrading. Will have to transfer data from old machine to new one. We can’t custom build laptops, so this is for desktops only.
Cost: Around $800-$1500 depending on your needs.
Option 5 - Switch to a Mac
Macs are good machines, but be aware that they also have Operating Systems that are unsupported eventually, so you won’t entirely avoid this process with them. (Although upgrading to a new Mac OS is much easier). My general advice for people wondering if they should switch to a Mac is this; Do you feel like learning an entirely different type of Operating System? If you are up for that adventure, go ahead. If not, stick with Windows.
Pros: Macs last a long time if properly treated. Upgrading to a new Mac OS is generally easy.
Cons: Macs aren’t cheap. You will have to re-purchase all of the programs you use. Some may not work. Transferring Data is a bit more difficult.
Cost: New Mac Cost + $99 Data Migration.
Option 6 - Pay Microsoft to Extend Support
This is not something I think any of our customers will do, but just in case I want you to know it is an option. You can pay Microsoft to extend Windows 7 Support on your machine(s). They haven’t been up front with the pricing, so I expect it isn’t cheap. This option is more designed more for large companies that have a fleet of Windows 7 machines, or have software that won’t run on Windows 10 yet.
Optional Option - SuperGeeks 24/7 Maintenance Plan
Our 24/7 Plan includes a lot of perks. But for this particular situation there are two specific items that I wanted to bring up.
All In-Shop Repair Labor is covered under the plan. This includes the labor cost of upgrading to Windows 10 and/or the cost of transferring data from an old machine to a new one.
You get Unlimited Remote Support from our local staff included in the plan. If you are using Windows 7, and move to Windows 10, we are a phone call away and can remote into your computer to help you with the learning curve whenever problems or questions pop-up.
For more information on our 24/7 Maintenance Plan, click here.
If you are already on our 24/7 Maintenance Plan, good news! Upgrading to Windows 10 won’t cost you anything extra! Just give us a call to get started.
We are here to answer any questions you may have about Windows 7, Windows 10 or any other technology issues you need assistance with. Give us a call or come by to get started!
806 722 0770