Microsoft recently announced that it will officially begin the Windows 7 end of life phase on Jan. 14, 2020. On that day, the company will stop supporting Windows 7 on laptops and desktops, and will no longer patch it with security updates.
Of course, that might cause some consternation for consumers and enterprise users alike. Windows 7 is still a wildly popular operating system that, even 10 years after its release, is still relied upon by millions across the globe. And, as hard as Microsoft might try to push folks to Windows 10, it won’t be as easy to do so as the company might hope.
What is Windows 7’s end of life?
End of life is the term that Microsoft uses to identify the period when the company will no longer support an operating system or application. In this case, it means that, as of Jan.14, 2020, Microsoft will move on from Windows 7 and no longer patch security holes in the operating system. And if things go awry and bugs develop, you won’t be able to call on Microsoft to fix the problem.
So, when Microsoft’s end-of-life date hits, any PC, 2-in-1 laptop, tablet or other device you have that’s running on Windows 7 will be on its own when fending off hackers.
What does Windows 7 end of life mean for my security?
Well, this is where things become difficult. One of the nice things about not being in end of life is that the operating system or software package is fully supported and patched. In Windows 7, all of that support will go by the wayside after Jan. 14, 2020.
it’s not uncommon for hackers, knowing when end of life hits, to wait until after that date to find ways to exploit vulnerable systems and wreak havoc. After all, if Microsoft isn’t going to support the operating system and there are still plenty of people using it, why not attack?
The fact is, the sooner people can get away from Windows 7 and switch to Windows 10, the better.