Saying goodbye to Windows 7 isn’t easy, but you must

Listen, I get it. Windows 7 has worked really well. After the Vista fiasco, you were so happy to get a decent version of Windows. You dodged the Windows 8.x sinkhole, and, boy, were you glad! Then, you thought about Windows 10, but 7 just did the job so you stuck with it, and then you felt vindicated because of Windows 10’s dodgy upgrades and patches. Now, today, Jan. 14, 2020, Windows 7 has reached its end of life, and either you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 or you’re working on another Windows 7 alternative like Chrome OS, macOS or Linux, right?

I mean, you’ve moved on. Right?

Oh, no! What’s this!? According to the most accurate survey of who’s running what on the internet the running totals of the U.S. government’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP) — on Jan. 9, five days before Win7’s end of life, 19% of Windows users were still using Windows 7.

People, people, people. It’s time to switch. Even the simplest update scenario, upgrading to Windows 10, takes a minimum of three hours. Moving your data and applications to Windows 10 can take anywhere from hours to days. It’s long past time to move. If you want an alternative operating system, it will take you even longer.

Of course, many companies are simply retiring their old PCs and replacing them with newer models running Windows 10. That’s the easiest way forward. But, as DAP’s numbers show, lots of people still haven’t made the move.

Indeed, just as in a lame action movie with a bomb countdown, as the clock ticks to zero on Windows 7, I’ve met some people who don’t plan on updating at all. Shudder!

They tell me they’ll be fine if they just keep updating their antiviral software. No! Just no! Where to begin?

First, antivirus (A/V) programs only protect you against known malware. There’s a lot of new trouble coming along every day. A/V programs don’t have a great track record of keeping up with the newest and nastiest malware. One of the best, Microsoft Security Essentials, dies on the same day as Windows 7 — today, remember? Windows Defender Antivirus? It was never available on Windows 7 and it’s sure not going to be ported over now!

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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