Are you still running the long in the tooth Windows 7? Or worse still, Windows XP? If you’re on Windows 7, that means the end of free support on Tuesday, January 13th 2015.
There are still many people who refuse to upgrade to the Microsoft’s latest operating system. In fact, millions of people around the world are using an even older version of Windows – XP.
While that is fine in terms of usability and stability, it doesn’t pay in the long run to stick with very old versions of Windows because you won’t receive the latest security updates, and of course the latest features.
It is always tempting to stick with an older version of Windows, not only because it avoids paying for an upgrade, but also because those versions tend to be very stable and have few bugs. But of course, Microsoft charges for each new version of Windows, unlike other a few other companies we can think of.
Look at Apple – OS X is completely free (Yosemite is the latest release) – and even when it wasn’t, it was a measly £19.99 for users in the UK. Windows, on the other hand, has a complicated array of different versions and prices (Ultimate, Professional, Premium, Home Premium, Basic, and on and on), which has meant that many people would prefer just to get a copy than pay full price for an operating system that should really be completely free.
No more Windows 7?
So what does it mean in practice, now that Windows 7 is no longer supported for free? Microsoft will not offer free help and support if you have technical problems, and there will be no new features too. However, do you know anyone that has ever actually called Microsoft with a problem? Most people use that all-knowing fountain of knowledge called Google to resolve any technical issues they may have…
Understandably, Microsoft wants to move everyone to Windows 8, or even Windows 10 which will be released later this year. What happened to Windows 9, you might ask? Nobody really knows, but it seems that the company felt that it was time to skip a generation and go with the much snappier-sounding Windows 10.
You might be surprised to learn that Windows 7 was released 6 years ago, and sold over 100 million copies in just six months. It brought the OS bang up to date at the time and proved to be more stable than its predecessor, the much-vilified Windows Vista, which was well and truly a disaster.
In future, Microsoft will charge for Windows 7 support, and it’s expected that by 2020, Windows 7 will be abandoned for good.
Windows 10 release this year
Windows 10 will be released in the second half of this year and there will be an announcement on the 21st of January, so check back to see what’s happening with Windows next week. Microsoft originally announced Windows 10 back in September last year.
Note: no matter how tempting, we recommend that you don’t use copied versions of Windows when you buy a new computer in Thailand, as there could be all sorts of security problems with these copies.
Let us know in the comments below whether you are a happy Windows 7 user, and whether the end of free support will affect you in any way. Do you intend to upgrade to Windows 10 when it comes out?