When Windows 10 launched in 2015, PC users were confronted with a dilemma. In spite of Microsoft, practically giving away Windows 10 even to those with pirated installations, most users stuck with Windows 7, rather than upgrading. Either to Windows 8 or Windows 10. Something that only finally changed late last year in December. Net market share Reported that Windows 10 installations rose above 7 for the first time. Now account for nearly 41% of the user base compared to Windows 7, 37%.
Now, hopefully that number is going to continue to go down as we get closer to January 14. 2020. The day that Windows 7 dies. Because otherwise we are going to have some serious problems because, yes, yes, Windows 7 it’s going to die. It’s not like you just turn on your computer and it doesn’t turn on anymore. It’s just going to stop receiving feature, updates, bug fixes and, most importantly, security updates, which are very important.
Microsoft is offering extended security updates. ESU for Windows 7 Enterprise and Pro additions up until January 2023. But this update service won’t come cheap and adding insult to injury, the price will double each year. So, three years of support is going to cost 175$ for Enterprise licenses and 350$ for 7 pro.
Also, if you’re, a mega ball or PC gamer thinking, yeah, no problem, 350$ looks like what mid-tier graphics card. Sorry, I’ve got some bad news for you too. ESU is only available for volume license subscriptions which are usually held by companies or schools. So business which are running Windows 7 machines on Microsoft’s Azure cloud as part of the Windows virtual desktop program; those folks get ESU for free, but again baller gamers, I would imagine that scenario doesn’t apply to you.
So then, if you’re, just a regular Windows 7 user with a personal license, what can you do?Well, before we get too deep into your options, let’s take a look at why people want to hold on to Windows 7. It is kind of fantastic. It’s, mature, stable and reliable, and offers a great amount of control over the way it behaves. Its interface is functional, familiar and extremely customizable, and it’s got all your settings just the way that you like them. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone upgrading now has a program or two that would either require a new, not to mention costly license, to run on Windows 10. Or that isn’t available for it at all.
There are quite a few cons to staying with it past the end date for extended support. Besides lacking the latest antivirus protections, Windows 7 won’t have Windows 10 features. Like device guard, UEFI, secure boot and Windows Hello, which offer higher overall security for your system. And while gaming performance is about the same, some things like system boot times are Slower in Windows 7 compared to Windows 10. It turns out Microsoft’s Software Engineers weren’t sitting around playing beer pong for the last 78 years.
If you’re worried about future proofing at all, which you should be at least a little bit. Windows 7 is not a great bet, as software and even hardware makers eventually do stop providing support for legacy operating systems. So, even if you pay for ESU, you support only lasts for three years and costs more than a Windows 10 license and you might be able to upgrade for free anyway.
Yep, even though Microsoft officially ended their offer for a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8, many users have reported successful, fully activated upgrades by using Microsoft’s official upgrade utility. And even if you have to pay, Windows 10 might not be as bad as you think. There are a lot of happy users out there who appreciate its combination of the efficiency and customization of Windows 7 and the modern design of Windows 8.