The countdown begins, the clock is ticking! Tick tock, tick tock. Windows 7, one of the finest operating systems Microsoft ever put out there, is set to be retired in exactly a year from now.
Meaning, customers have exactly 365 days to upgrade to a newer, supported version of the OS.
The date to keep in mind is for the first Patch Tuesday of 2020, which will take place on January 14. This is when Microsoft will ship the last patches and security updates for this still widely used operating system, after which user will no longer received these refreshes.
Marking the end of an era!
Now, you may be wondering, what exactly does end of support means?
It basically denotes the point beyond which Windows 7 will no longer receive security updates and patches. In other words, the OS will be left unguarded in case vulnerabilities are discovered in the wild.
Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 installed reached the end of mainstream support on July 13, 2015, and Microsoft stopped shipping new features and other optimizations for it after that. Extended support is set to expire after the January 2020 deadline.
This is exactly what happened with Windows XP, which was retired in April 8, 2014, at a time when this classic OS was still running on more than 25% of PCs around the globe.
At this point in time, Windows 7 still has close to a 36% slice of the pie to its name. What this means is that Microsoft basically has a year to move these users to a newer, supported version of the operating system — Windows 10 ideally.
Of course, Windows 7 will not just stop working overnight, but computers running this version of the OS will be at a greater risk of malware infection and security breaches.
On the software side of things, applications and programs will continue running on Windows 7 for a long time, even after retirement. Most of them will receive updates regularly beyond the deadline too, and this may convince many users to stick with Windows 7 even longer.
But sooner or later, upgrading to a newer version of Windows would become the only way to go, both for home users and businesses
Mark your calendar, folks.
January 14, 2020 is fast approaching.