Software updates that automatically shut down computers are the bane of most people’s lives.
The updates seriously slow down computers while they download and then arbitrarily shut them down when you are often in the middle of some crucial work.
Now, Microsoft is bombarding Windows 7 users with what seem like ransom demands to upgrade or be left without vulnerability packages.
The reason is Microsoft wants to dump support for Windows 7 and switch users to a rolling upgrade program rather than the traditional fall off a cliff every year or so when a new version of the operating system emerges.
But the problem is although Windows 10 and subsequent updates are free, Windows 7 users are expected to fork out around £120 to move up the versions.
What happens when Windows 7 support stops?
Technical reasons abound why they should – Windows 7 machines were produced up to 10 years ago, but won’t upgrade because they use software that is out-of-date or abandoned by developers that they can either not replace or afford to update.
Windows 10 works around these problems by rolling out updates every few months that will eventually pull every Windows user on to the same version – if their machines can cope.
Windows 7 was launched in 2009 when the technology world was a very different place.
Microsoft will stop supporting the software on January 14, 2020.
That doesn’t mean your computer will stop working. It just means you will no longer benefit from security updates and become more vulnerable to hackers.
How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free
You haven’t missed the boat if you have not upgraded to Windows 10.
Reportedly, if you enter your valid Windows 7 product key into the newer operating system.
To do so, you should download Windows 10 and use Microsoft’s free media creation tool to make a DVD or USB drive to carry out the upgrade – which apparently is not guaranteed to work for many reasons.
Microsoft Business 365 also comes with a free version of Windows 10.
The other problem is compatibility. Older computers are unlikely to take advantage of all capabilities of Windows 10, in which case, putting that £120 towards a new £350 computer that comes with the operating system already installed for free would seem a better prospect.