Windows 7, end support from January 2020: what’s next

Microsoft's support for Windows 7 will end on January 14, 2020. Here's what to do to arrive prepared for the deadline

Birth date: October 22, 2009. Date of death: January 14, 2020. These are the words we could write on the tombstone of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system when, in mid-January next year, Microsoft stops offering free support to users.

The Redmond-based company has always said it, even through its official online support pages: "Microsoft committed to providing 10 years of technical support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. At the end of this 10-year period, Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows 7." This means that Windows 7 users will no longer receive any updates to the operating system, not even security patches. Those who still have Windows 7 Home already received the first notices from Microsoft in March, those who have Windows 7 Professional are receiving them these days.

Windows 7: end of support comes with a message

Microsoft has chosen to communicate to users the end of technical support through notices that appear in the form of pop-up windows. The message reads, "After 10 years, Windows 7 support is nearing its end. January 14, 2020 is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates and technical support for Windows 7. We know change can be hard, so we're giving you a heads up early to help you back up your files and prepare for the new one." Users will receive more than one of these warnings, but can select the "Don't remind me again" option.

Goodbye Windows 7: What to do?

Usersers have no choice: support for Windows 7 is coming to an end and they must switch operating systems. This is good from many points of view, especially the security one because Windows 10 is much more robust than its predecessors. The real problem, especially for Professional users (basically for companies) will be the upgrade costs: many computers will have to be replaced or upgraded because they are too underpowered to run Windows 10, there will be downtime and you will have to spend money on technicians, if the company does not have an internal IT department. Also for these reasons, unfortunately, you still see public offices and small businesses with PCs on which even Windows XP (whose official support ended in April 2014) or Windows Vista (archived in 2017) runs. A choice that not only limits business productivity, but also exposes the fleet of machines of the company or institution to the attack of viruses of all kinds.