Microsoft Windows 7 users should be looking to upgrade the operating systems for their computers, as the software company has announced that support for the system will end soon, noting that “Windows 7 is based on long-outdated security architectures,” according to MYCE. The company states that support for Windows 7 will end in three years, including a mention that basic support for the system ended a year ago. Basic support includes standard upgrades to the system’s functionality.
On January 14, 2020, the company will discontinue security updates for the Windows 7 operating system. Markus Nitschke, Microsoft Deutschland’s head of Windows’ Consumer Business Unit, says that Windows operating system does not meet the requirements of current technology.
“Windows 7 slowly becomes old. It does not meet the requirements of today’s modern technology, nor the high security requirements of IT departments. We learned from Windows XP that companies should take early steps to avoid future risks or costs.”
Microsoft is urging users to upgrade to more modern software systems, like the Windows 10 version. According to Techviral, Windows 10 users currently make up less than one third of internet users, and Microsoft would like to see that number rise significantly. Aside from the economic benefits to the company, Microsoft points to previous issues with the XP operating system transitions, and notes that businesses that continue to utilize Windows 7 could face “enormous dangers.”
The trouble for Microsoft is that Windows 7 users currently make up 40 percent of the market. That means the company must convince nearly half of its client base to upgrade to the newer operating system. The security risk is an obvious point to press to consumers who may not otherwise wish to change systems.
The good news for those users is that those who did not take advantage of the company’s offer of a free upgrade to the newest operating system last year can still do so using the Media Creation Tool, according to MYCE. This tool allows users to get the most current operating system available. Microsoft is trying to avoid the same problem as it currently faces as millions of XP operating system users continue with that system in spite of the fact that the system has not received security updates since 2014.
While the software pioneer has spent significant resources to promote the safety and efficiency of the Windows 10 system, including the option for users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free at one point, the uptake is that now the company also points to a serious problem for Windows 7 users as an even bigger selling point. The company warns that those who continue to use the outdated software will be exposing their personal information in an unsecure system. In short, Windows 7 is going to experience a greater risk for its users as the company transitions its resources to the system it believes can function securely in the modern environment of today’s internet.
Nitschke points out that almost all companies face cyber-attacks, and potential threats from loss of information and data. For businesses using Windows 7, the concern will turn to not only protecting the company’s assets from cyber-attack, but also client information from hackers. Microsoft’s warning should ring clear to companies who use the older system.
This looks like a rare moment when a business is pulling a popular product off the market in the interest of security. In pointing out the flaws in the Windows 7 operating system’s security features, the company is advising a huge percentage of its market that it will be using an unsafe product. This warning appears to be an attempt to urge users to switch before the security issues do become severe. How that will play in the market remains to be seen.
[Featured Image by Patrick Lux/Getty Images]