Microsoft Support for Windows 7 is Ending
If you still have computers using Windows 7 and you didn’t notice the repeated warnings from Microsoft popping up on your screen, you should know that Windows 7 support will be discontinued on January 14, 2020.
Windows 7 was released by Microsoft on October 22, 2009 with a commitment to provide 10 years of support and those 10 years are soon coming to an end. Starting January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide technical assistance and software updates for any PC that still uses Windows 7.
If you’re thinking you can wait to upgrade because your PC will still continue to work, you’re almost right. Windows will continue to function, but there will be no software updates coming from Microsoft, including security updates, thus making your system highly susceptible to virus attacks and security breaches. Is that a risk you are willing to take? We hope not! With only a few months left before Windows 7 end-of-life, now is the time to make the switch!
What are my options and what problems can I expect?
Buy a new off-the-shelf computer
This is the obvious answer and is the one many people choose to take without thinking. We can help you with this if you choose to do so but there are pitfalls to this as well. You should be aware that yes, the price of computers has dropped over the years but much of that cost cutting has resulted in poor quality at the lower end and loss of features at the upper end. Most new laptop computers don’t come with DVD or Blu-Ray drives, have very limited USB ports and many are glued together making them virtually irreparable. They are also thin and light which also makes them easy to break and expensive to repair. New off-the-shelf desktop computers have fewer pitfalls than the new laptop computers but, again, the lower cost ones are very low quality, so expect to spend between $600 and $1,200 for a good one.
Have Mad Dog Computer build a quality desktop computer
With this option, you can rest assured that you are getting a quality computer system which you can expect to last for many years and is specifically designed to meet your current and future needs. If something should break in the down the road, the computer is built to be easily and economically repairable.
Purchase a business-class reconditioned computer from Mad Dog Computer
It has been vigorously tested to assure quality operation, Windows 10 pre-installed and has been upgraded with a brand-new Solid State Drive (SSD) and additional RAM to handle the new software. One of these reconditioned computers which was top of the line and near $2,000 a few years ago was designed to be nearly indestructible. They are fast, durable, reliable and very inexpensive to repair. We can provide them in a variety of configurations starting in the $350 range with your option of desktop or laptop models.
Upgrade what you already have
This is a great option, if you currently have a computer which you are very happy with and which is 6 years old or newer. You might want to upgrade your RAM or replace your hard drive with a SSD but, other than that, your computer should be able to work well with Windows 10. If this is your choice, Mad Dog Computer will upgrade your computer for $150 plus the cost of any optional hardware upgrades you select. Some software re-installation may be necessary which we’re happy to do for an additional fee.
Buy extended support from Microsoft
For $50 the 1st year, $100 the 2nd year and $200 the 3rd year, Microsoft will continue to provide “Security Updates”. Unfortunately, besides the cost, this does nothing to update other software to make it work with Windows 7. As an example, TurboTax (a popular tax preparation software package) will not allow their 2020 version to function on Windows 7 after January 2020.
Whether it is for health care, your car maintenance or dealing with this situation, doing nothing is always a choice but is rarely a good, long term solution. If you choose this option, make sure you have a very good online backup software subscription, excellent Internet security, don’t plan to buy any new software and be aware that Windows 7 may not be able to be reinstalled if anything dire should happen to your computer.
Things to consider when leaving Windows 7
- When switching to a Mac, you will have to replace all of your software which may cost more than your computer itself. With a PC, software over 10 years old probably will not work correctly and will need to be replaced while software less than 5 years old will almost certainly be fine.
- When switching to a different PC or Mac, existing peripherals like monitors and printers may not be compatible and may have to be adapted or replaced. The older the peripherals are, the higher the chance of incompatibility there is.
- If you switch to a different computer (PC or Mac, new or reconditioned), you can expect to have data recovery/transfer costs. This doesn’t apply to upgrading your current equipment.
- When upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10, some software will probably need to be reinstalled after the upgrade. You’ll need you installation information such as keys, serial numbers, product codes, download information, etc. If you can’t find this information, you may have to re-buy the software.