Byte Me Article 414 – Windows 7 End of Life Alternatives

Windows to a Better World
Do You Need to Update Your Operating System?

Ready with a cuppa to sit down to another instalment of Byte Me?  Great, let’s delve into the best path to take if you still have a device running Windows 7 or even 8 / 8.1 for that matter.  Before going too far, how do you know which version you have?  Luckily there is a ‘global’ command that will help here, regardless of which Windows operating system you have.

You will have noticed a Windows key on your keyboard down the very bottom and second from the left.  It has the well know Windows flag icon on it.  While holding down this key also press the letter R which can be in upper or lower case – it does not matter.  This will bring up a small Run command box with the word ‘Open’ next to a place that you can type.  Click with your mouse cursor in this box and type the letters winver and then click OK.

Presto, you will now know what version of Windows you currently have installed.  If it says Windows XP, then you have a serious problem if you use this PC on the Internet.  If it says Windows Vista, then I feel very sorry for you plus you still have a serious problem if using this PC on the Internet.  If it says Windows 7 then you have until next January to upgrade to a more modern Windows before Microsoft stops keeping you safe on the Internet.  If it says Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 then you are in a different boat which we will talk about later.

Microsoft has long ago dropped support and security updates for XP and Vista, so if you are still using one of these operating systems on the Internet then you are running the gauntlet with security and you should be considering a replacement PC.  If you are still using Windows 7 then you possibly have more options available to you.

A while back Microsoft widely advertised an amnesty period on licensing costs for those wanting to upgrade from 7 or 8 / 8.1 to Windows 10.  Millions world-wide took advantage of this and we heavily promoted it at the time as well.  Since the advertised deadline for this upgrade Microsoft has, without warning, kept this free licence upgrade offer in place.  So – if you thought that you had missed this great opportunity then think again because it is still available.

If I had a Windows 7 device and it was still serviceable then I would be opting for an upgrade to a solid-state drive and a fresh install of Windows 10.  Going down this path will result in many advantages.  You will have the most modern, safe and secure operating system.  You will also have a far more reliable device – and you will have a MUCH faster device.  You could expect to see the perceived speed of your laptop or desktop increase 4 to 10-fold under this plan.

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Alternatively, if you are using Widows 8 or 8.1 and you still have a mechanical hard drive, then again there is no time like the present to do the same upgrade as suggested above and possibly dodge a bullet at the same time.  That bullet being a failed hard drive and the associated loss of data that often occurs as well as the inconvenience of a planned outage.

Unfortunately, computers are one of those devices that only show up as broken just when we need to use them, and I wish I had a dollar for every time that I’ve heard – “I just needed to send an important email” – or “I was about to do a backup because it has been a while”. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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