If you are still using Microsoft’s Windows 7, your computer may soon be at risk.
Microsoft will stop providing free security updates to the system for today, meaning that computers using it will be more vulnerable to malware and hacking.
Users who want to protect their computers need to upgrade to Windows 10. They may also need to purchase new computers as older machines may not be compatible with Windows 10.
Tech companies typically phase out older systems after several 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 end free support in 2023.
Windows 10 starts at $ 139 for a basic, “home” version. Microsoft charges $ 200 for the “Pro” version for businesses and individuals who need its advance features. Windows 10 comes with regular free updates for security and additional features. Although Windows 10 is unlikely to close anytime soon, older versions will require those updates to continue to work.
Microsoft is also ending support for Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 operating system on Tuesday.
Those who run Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise can purchase extended security for up to three years. But it can be worthwhile just to buy new PCs or get Windows 10.
Microsoft will also end support on October 13 for Office 2010, a package that includes word processing and spreadsheet software. Owners need to explore new versions of Office, including a subscription offer called Office 365.