Windows users who don’t update to the latest version of Microsoft’s software could be at a higher risk of cyber attacks next month. The technology giant has been warning users of its Windows 7 operating system for months that they need to make the switch to Windows 10 and there’s now just a few weeks left before things get much more serious.
From January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows 7 and that means those who still use this ageing software won’t receive any new updates or security patches.
With things no longer being upgraded, it could leave those with it installed facing more chance of successful attacks on their PCs.
Explaining more about the end of Windows 7, the US firm said: “Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. “When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that we can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences.
“The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product.
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“Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.
“You can continue to use Windows 7, but after support has ended, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.
“Windows will continue to start and run, but you will no longer receive software updates, including security updates, from Microsoft.”
Clearly, if you want to stay safe then there’s no question that you should upgrade right now but installing Windows 10 does come at a price.
Microsoft’s free upgrade ran out a long time ago meaning anyone moving across to the new OS will need to pay…and it’s certainly not cheap.
The entry-level Windows 10 Home edition, which is the lowest priced option, starts from £119.99 and is licensed to just one PC.
This price rises to £219.99 for Windows 10 Pro and £339 for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations.
It’s unclear if Microsoft will run any kind of price cuts or promotions nearer to the Windows 7 end date but, for now, you will face a pretty hefty bill if you want to upgrade.
Microsoft does offer some concessions around its Windows 10 upgrade. For example, people with accessibility issues are able to upgrade to the new operating system, which offers much better support for these users, without paying the upgrade fee.