The time is ticking for Windows 7, as Microsoft is projected to prevent servicing this OS version on January 14.
As of today, there are just 48 days for all those on Windows 7 to upgrade to newer Windows, and certainly, the amount of devices running this year’s operating system keeps declining every day.
First of all, what happens on January 14?
In just a few words, January 14, 2020 represents the very first Patch Tuesday cycle from the the coming year and the last update rollout for Windows 7. This means that after January 14, Windows 7 wouldn’t have any other updates, so security vulnerabilities and other problems in the OS would just be left unpatched.
Because Windows 7 and newer Windows share a lot of components, which means that vulnerabilities in one Windows version also appear in others, the likelihood of the 2009 operating system being exposed to attacks is definitely increasing.
As mentioned many times, despite support for Windows 7 visiting end, it doesn’t necessarily mean devices still running this OS would certainly become sitting ducks. Nope. Windows 7 users, for example, can look to a series of other safety measures that can help them further secure their devices and block common attacks designed to exploit OS vulnerabilities. For instance, a completely up-to-date antivirus product might help stay away from malware, while a properly-configured firewall can block incoming attempts from malicious actors.
This won’t be something simple to do for everybody in Windows 7, however. And according to third-party data, there are many Windows 7 devices out there, and many seem to be prone to miss the January 14 upgrade deadline.
Data provided by NetMarketShare for the month of October indicates that while Windows 10 jumped to 54.30% share of the market, Windows 7 dropped to 26.94%. When the same declining trend is maintained, there’s a big chance for Windows 7 to be running on more than 20 % of devices worldwide when the January 14 deadline is reached.
Microsoft obviously recommends everyone to upgrade to Windows 10, but in reality, those still on Windows 7 have many more options when it comes to switching for an operating-system that still receives support.
Windows 8.1, for instance, remains serviced, so you can very well proceed to this version and you’ll still be getting security updates, just like on Windows 10. Obviously, from a long-term perspective, Windows 10 is the approach to take, because the new features and Microsoft’s full focus would only go to this Windows version.
But at the same time, Linux continues to be a worthy alternative. Despite some claiming that Linux isn’t as user-friendly as Windows, the distros here have made an enormous progress in connection with this, and releases like Linux Mint could make Windows users feel like home even from the first day. There’s a learning curve, that’s true, however it shouldn’t take too long before Linux turns into a familiar home for users coming from Windows.
And finally, moving to macOS continues to be an option, albeit switching to Apple products might be more complicated as far as cost is involved. Apple’s macOS requires new hardware, so a larger budget is necessary to give up on Windows and embrace a Mac. However, there are firms that actually choose this path.
After the day, I expect many users to just stick to Windows 7 and ignore all security recommendations for at least several more months. Microsoft continues to push for users to maneuver to Windows 10, there’s without a doubt, however the transition will definitely happen rather slower than faster.