Windows 7, official support ends today: what changes

Since January 14, Microsoft's support for Windows 7 ends. Here's what you need to do to keep using your PC without problems

Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system dies: starting today, January 14, Microsoft will no longer offer any support to users of this OS and will no longer release security patches.

Usersers who don't plan to upgrade to a more up-to-date operating system can buy an extension of support, which has a different annual cost depending on the version of Windows 7 installed (not available for Windows 7 Home Edition users). Everyone else is officially uncovered against malware and will be able to continue using Windows 7 at their own risk: the Microsoft Security Essentials platform (which also contains antivirus), for example, will continue to receive virus signature updates after January 14, but will no longer be updated. It is estimated that around 35 percent of PCs worldwide still have Windows 7 installed today.

Extended Support for Windows 7

For users who want to continue using Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise edition, but do not want to expose themselves to serious cyber risks from Microsoft's end of support, there is the so-called "Extended Security Update Program". The first year of extended support you pay $25 if the installed version is the Enterprise Edition and $50 for Windows 7 Professional. The second and third years the prices double: $50 and $100 for Windows 7 Enterprise and Professional, respectively. Large companies with many computers running Windows 7 Enterprise Edition can buy extended support in bulk, saving money on individual licenses.

What you risk with out-of-date Windows 7

Usersers of Windows 7 Home, which will no longer be updated and can't even be covered by extended support, should upgrade their operating system to Windows 10 en masse. Using an outdated system, in fact, is very dangerous. Every day, news arrives about new security holes in operating systems that were not foreseen when the code was written and only discovered later (these are the so-called "Zero-Day" holes). Exploiting these flaws hackers, very often, can literally take control of the operating systems concerned and, for this, Microsoft responds to each new flaw with a security patch that goes to "close". All this will no longer happen for Windows 7, so users will no longer be protected from possible attacks.