In mid-January 2020, Microsoft will discontinue support for its Windows 7 operating system. Since then, there are no more security updates. Those who still use the system now must act. The chances are not bad that a free upgrade to Wind-ows 10 still works out.
The end for Wind-ows 7 comes in January 2020
Wind-ows 7 came onto the market ten years ago. Unlike its predecessor, Vista, many users found it stable and easy to use. And so it still runs on many computers, although Microsoft has long since replaced it with the less popular Windows 8 and its much-improved successor Windows 10. Anyone who still operates their computer with Wind-ows 7 should change this as soon as possible: To the 14. January 2020, Microsoft has ended support for the system. Since then, the supplier no longer plugs newly discovered security gaps. Wind-ows 7 then gradually becomes more and more insecure.
New computer, new operating system?
A PC, which was delivered with Wind-ows 7, has already several years on the hump. Some people will use the occasion to buy a new computer with pre-installed Windows 10 (see Mobile Computer test). Others may want to try their luck on the old computer for a change with a version of the open source system Linux – such as the popular Ubuntu. However, this would be a major change: not only the user interface is completely different. Also the Wind-ows programs used so far do not run under Linux. For most users, therefore, an update to Wind-ows 10 is probably more appropriate.
Tip: Our book Windows 10 for beginners and Wind-ows connoisseurs explains the new system in understandable language and with the help of many screenshots.
Free upgrade to Wind-ows 10 can still work out
The Wind-ows 10 Update Wizard first checks for compatibility and then installs Wind-ows 10. © Screenshot Windows 10
If the old PC is still fast enough, the Wind-ows 7 installed on it can be updated to the latest Wind-ows version. Before spending money on a new Wind-ows license, the user could try a trick: The free upgrade from Wind-ows 7 to 10, which Microsoft officially offered only until summer 2016, is still working, according to numerous reports. The necessary update program with the file name "Wind-ows10Upgrade9252.exe" can still be downloaded from Microsoft. The program first checks whether the hardware is suitable for Wind-ows 10, and then installs the new system. Before updating, you should make a backup copy of your data in any case.
Back to the usual start menu
If you long for the classic start menu look, you can recreate it with Open Shell. © Screenshot Open-Shell
When starting Windows 10 for the first time, the user first has the opportunity to limit Microsoft’s curiosity with various data protection settings. The subsequent look at the new user interface shows: After the flop of Wind-ows 8, the look and functionality of Wind-ows 10 have come closer to the classic Wind-ows. If you still long for the familiar Wind-ows 7 look of the start menu, you can customize the interface with utilities such as Open Shell (the open-source successor to the popular Classic Shell) and make Wind-ows 10 look even more like Wind-ows 7.
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This message was first published in September 2019, last updated in January 2020.