Windows 7 Officially Abandoned by Microsoft
January 14, 2020 marks the end of an era. This is the date when Microsoft officially closes the door on Windows 7 and its variant editions (such as Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise, for instance). Although the truth of the matter is Microsoft has not provided any significant updates or patches for the Windows 7 OS since the mid-2010s (i.e. 2015 onward), January 14, 2020 is the true shutdown of future updates and technical support directly from the company for Windows 7 owners and users.
Windows 7 users will have a hard decision to make. Do they continue using Windows 7 for now or will they upgrade to the current iteration of Windows 10? This is not an easy choice, if we are being honest. This is because Windows 7 had become comfortable and reliable. Windows 10 has had a series of issues that makes many wary about adopting it. Many companies and enterprises are surprisingly not in any hurry to upgrade either. Even experts say Windows 7 will continue be used by millions long after the January 14, 2020 end of Microsoft’s support for the operating system.
With so many Windows 7 users, there is a glut of misinformation being mixed with the facts that entail with this end of Microsoft’s support. So let’s take a brief look at the importance of this Windows 7 end of support from Microsoft and why using a data wipe tool like RedKey USB to clear the data from drives before moving to Windows 10 is recommended.
Why is this End of Support Important?
With the end of Microsoft’s official support for Windows 7, this inevitably opens devices that use this OS to potential vulnerabilities. A similar situation occurred in the late 2010s (around 2017), with the WannaCry Ransomware attack which took advantage of the vulnerabilities of the Windows XP OS.
Remember that there are criminal minds out there out to take advantage of any opening that might be found. Hackers, virus programmers, ransomware creators, and many more nefarious individuals are always on the lookout for possible targets. With Windows 7 no longer receiving any security updates, expect these criminals to be actively seeking ways to make this work in their favor.
Note that this does not mean Windows 7 users are automatically helpless. Windows 7 versions of the Microsoft Security Essentials will still work, but will no longer have any new developments and patches beyond what is already provided at the official Microsoft site.
Another point to remember is that Microsoft Office included with Windows 7, which is the MS Office 2010 version, will continue to work. However, this will also mean there will no longer be any further development. If any format of a document is used that requires a newer version of office, this may lead to problems sooner or later.
And if you are a gamer, this is a major concern. Games that work with Windows 7 today, inevitably may not have the same compatibility in the future. This is similar to how Steam ended the support for Windows XP and Windows Vista back in late 2018. Note, however, that Windows XP support ended in 2014 and for Windows Vista in early 2017. While Steam and other video game distributors will continue to support Windows 7 for the immediate future, there will come a time when the same change will be applied.
Upgrading to Windows 10? Perform a Data Wipe!
If you are going to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, RedKey recommends performing a data wipe. This is one of the situations where the RedKey package with the Blue and Green Keys excel, as the latter tools assist with installing a new OS and backing up any important data before the full data wipe is performed.
Using the RedKey USB data erasure system is ideal for clearing the old data in your devices and drives before moving to Windows 10 to ensure that there are no vulnerabilities present. RedKey USB is designed to work easily and effectively get rid of all the fragments of data.
Making the choice of upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 due to the end of the Microsoft support on January 14, 2020 is not easy. However, sooner or later one will have to do so. It is understandable that there is some resistance to this because of a sense of familiarity and convenience, it’s like Windows 7 is a good friend. It was the next best thing to XP. When you do decide to update your OS to Windows 10, follow some of the same recommended best practices before selling your laptop or PC.
For more articles, news, and tips, visit RedKey USB’s blog page regularly!