By Bob Hooper for The Island Connection
Earlier this month, Jan. 14 to be exact, I got several calls and emails about the end of support for Windows 7.
One call was from a client I had just setup with a laptop that used 7 and he wanted to know what was up. But there is no need to panic, Windows 7 is still alive and well.
Jan. 13 saw the end of what is called “mainstream support,” which means that Windows will no longer add new options to the operating system, but it will continue to support Windows 7.
All security fixes, bugs, etc. will continue to be updated until 2020. XP’s mainstream support ended in January 2009 but “regular” support did not end until last April (5 years later). The same will happen with 7, 5 years from now they will end regular support.
Don’t worry about 7 and security, in fact although Windows 7 Home Premium is no longer actively sold, Windows 7 Professional is still being sold by Microsoft and its hardware partners such as Dell and HP. I buy them all the time for clients, Windows 7 in my opinion will be the most used Windows OS for some time to come.
With all that said, on Jan. 21st Microsoft unveiled their new OS called Windows 10. They are skipping right over 9, I think in hopes of putting a large space between OS 8.1 and 10. One of the main things for consumers is that 10 will bring back the desktop environment that 7 (and Vista/XP) have. Yep, the panes/ tiles and other confusing ways to access data, programs or “apps” will be an option, not forced upon you. Tablets and Windows phones will still use panes for working while touch screen laptops will have the option to do so.
The bottom line for 10 is that as of right now it should be more user friendly than 8 or 8.1. The best of 7 should be incorporated and make its use more manageable for the normal user. For those who are using their computer for gaming or for other intense programs, 10 will come with lots of new software and tweaks that will enhance your experience. I am signed up to get the preview software of 10 and soon will get a firsthand look at the new software. As with all new software, I suggest you wait a bit to upgrade or purchase, let someone else help fix the “bugs!”
One note that did come from the Jan. 21 announcement is that Windows 7 and 8/8.1 will upgrade to 10 for free during the first year after release. This means your Windows 7 computer is safe for years to come, Windows 10 is set to be released sometime in 2015.
As with all of my columns if you want help or have questions don’t hesitate to call Rent A Bob at 843.822.7794 or email at email@example.com.