PC users are being urged to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10 as soon as possible if they want to avoid a potentially big price hike at the start of January.
That's because Microsoft is getting ready to end it's 10 year support for the Windows 7 operating system that originally launched well over 10 years ago.
Whilst the OS is certainly not obsolete, Microsoft are indicating that users who continue to use the OS could leave themselves more open to issues and particularly vulnerable to security risks.
However, given that it is estimated that there are still more than 440 million people using Windows 7 worldwide, the message clearly hasn't reached everyone.
And given that Microsoft has supported the Windows 7 operating system originally launched in 2009, it makes sense that they would stop supporting the OS at some point.
It should be stressed that the OS is not obsolete, but simply that Microsoft will no longer support it.
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In a statement on its support website, Microsoft explained the decision, writing:
"Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009.
"When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that we can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences.
"The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product.
"Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.
"You can continue to use Windows 7, but after support has ended, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.
"Windows will continue to start and run, but you will no longer receive software updates, including security updates, from Microsoft."
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What should you do is you're using Windows 7?
You can upgrade to Windows 10, but it's not exactly cheap.
Even if you want to install the most basic version, Windows 10 Home Edition, your still looking at £119.99, which is equally one license for one PC.
Users can feasibly be forced into paying £219.99 for Windows 10 Pro or even £339 when opting into Windows 10 Pro for Workstations.
You could alternatively buy a new PC, which will benefit from having Windows 10 pre-loaded.
Some Windows 7 users were previously able to upgrade for free, something which Microsoft officially stopped offering on July 29 2016.
However there are, technically speaking, some workarounds which do appear to still work.
According to the Technology website cnet , this workaround is still working and letting users upgrade to Windows 10 without paying a thing.
"As of November 2019, readers still report that it works, Ed Bott [of sister site ZDNet] confirmed to CNET," writes cnet Senior Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome.
"I tried it out, and was able to upgrade a 2014 Dell OptiPlex 9020 desktop machine from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro."
Those looking to upgrade for free should certainly head over to cnet for the steps on how to get Windows 10 for free, even if you're running a licensed and activated copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.
Follow the cnet link above to learn more. Or why not check out some more of our content, just below.
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