Microsoft has officially ended support for free Windows 7 security updates. In the event that you are still using Windows 7 operating system on your desktop or laptop, your computer might be at risk. Microsoft will stop providing free security updates for the Windows 7 operating system starting January 14, which is today. Meaning, computers running Microsoft's Windows 7 OS will be at even more risk of malware infection going forward.
Microsoft has also ensured to upgrade to Windows 10 operating system for protection against malware and imminent cybersecurity threats. Existing Windows 7 customers may also need to buy new computers because older machines might not be compatible with Windows 10. Microsoft typically phases out older operating systems after a number of years and focus efforts on updating current versions of the software. Windows 7 came out in 2009. Windows 8, which came out in 2012, will have free support end in 2023.
Windows 10 starts at $139 for a basic, “Home” version. Microsoft charges $200 for a “Pro” version meant for businesses and individuals who are looking forward to advanced features on the Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 comes with regular free updates for security and additional features. Although Windows 10 operating system is not likely to be phased out anytime soon, older versions of Windows operating systems will require those updates to keep working though.
Microsoft has also ended support Tuesday for Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 operating systems. Those who run Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise can buy extended protection for up to three years. But it might be worthwhile to just buy new PCs or get Windows 10. Microsoft will also be ending support on Oct. 13 for Office 2010 a package that includes word processing and spreadsheet software. Owners need to explore newer versions of Office, including a subscription offering called Office 365.
In related news, WhatsApp stopped working on phones running Windows Phone OS starting January 1, 2020. As a result, smartphones failing to comply with the updated requirements laid out by Facebook will no longer be able to send or receive messages through WhatsApp.
(With inputs from AP)