The day has finally arrived: Microsoft support for Windows 7 ($ 4.79 with Walmart) has officially ended. This should not surprise Windows users: Microsoft promised 1
From January 14, Microsoft no longer provides technical support or software updates for your device, and the company has encouraged people to upgrade to Windows 10 ($ 90 at Walmart) to their PC & # 39; secure s and laptops. (If you are a Windows 8.1 user, extended support for that operating system does not end until January 2023.)
Keep reading for everything you need to know about the end of Windows 7 support and how to switch to Windows 10 free.
Read more: RIP, Windows 7. Upgrade to Windows 10 free – here's how
Why did Microsoft discontinue support for Windows 7?
Microsoft has a long-established fixed lifestyle policy for many of its products. For each version of the operating system, the company offers a minimum of 10 years of support (minimum of five years of regular support, followed by five years of extensive support). Both types include security and program updates, online self-help topics, and additional help you can pay for.
Windows 7 was released in October 2009, so the 10-year life cycle has ended. Windows 10 was released in 2015 and extensive support for the latest version of the operating system is expected to end in 2025.
Read more: The best antivirus protection of 2020 for Windows 10
Does this does my Windows 7 computer no longer work?
Your Windows 7 computer continues to work, but Microsoft does not provide security updates or solutions or technical support for any issues – increasing your computer's risk of viruses and malware circulating to take advantage of any errors that are discovered later.
That is why it is important that you switch to an OS version where Microsoft still provides resources.
Do I really have to switch to Windows 10?
No one can force you to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, but it's really a good idea to do this – the main reason is security. Without security updates or solutions you put your computer at risk – especially dangerous, because many forms of malware target Windows devices.
Windows 10 also has a number of built-in security tools: Windows Defender Antivirus protects against malware and spyware via email, apps, the cloud and the web, while Windows Hello offers a password-free login option to unlock your devices with your face or a fingerprint reader. A Find My Device service can remotely lock and erase your Windows device or assign the location of your device.
Is Windows 10 not buggy?
Some people hesitated to make the switch due to reports of various bugs in earlier versions of Windows 10. But Microsoft has made several updates to the update approach from the May 2019 release, including slower rollout with additional testing, more options for pausing make updates and more known issues known, so that your experience runs more smoothly.
Many of the problems were due to the fact that updates are taking place more often, Gartner Research analyst Steve Kleynhans said. "But in general, most users seem pretty happy with the operating system and love the experience it brings, especially on newer devices," he added.
Read more: 6 simple security changes that all Windows 10 users need
What is the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 10?
In addition to a range of security tools, Windows 10 also offers more user functions. One is the Your Phone app, which gives you access to texts, notifications and apps on your phone via your PC – similar to Apple's continuity features. The Call function allows you to place and answer Android calls on your PC (and you can also connect your iPhone to your Windows PC). You can easily record ideas with a dictation function.
Microsoft & # 39; s Digital Assistant Cortana is also available on Windows 10 PCs. The operating system can also be better integrated with Microsoft OneDrive and other cloud tools.
Read more: 11 simple Windows 10 tricks that you didn't know yet
The most recent update of Windows 10 November 2019 contains a number of new functions such as changes to notifications that make them easier to configure and can be managed from an app or website, and the ability to create events directly from the Flyout calendar on the taskbar, instead of opening the app.
Unlike previous versions of the operating system, Windows 10 offers automatic updates as standard to keep systems more secure. (You can disable it by going to Windows Update Settings> Advanced Options and going to another option in the Automatic drop-down menu.)
How do I upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10? How much does it cost me?
You can purchase and download Windows 10 from the Microsoft website for $ 139. Although Microsoft technically terminated its free Windows 10 upgrade program in July 2016, CNET has confirmed since January that the free update is still available to users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. View our step-by-step guide to free upgrading to Windows 10.