Yes, that’s right! Windows 7 end of life was reached last month, on January 14th, 2020!
What does this mean?
That you will have to switch from Windows 7 to another OS.
⚠️ No matter what you choose to migrate to, remember to make a backup of your data first!
Can Windows 7 still be safely used?
No. You might get away for a little longer if used completely offline though, meaning unplugging the “internet cable” and removing the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips and any other radio. This is not very practical though and it is easier to migrate to another OS.
What OS can I switch to?
If your computer is fast and modern enough, you can easily upgrade to Windows 10, but that should only be done if you have Windows-only software that you rely on. Please note that Windows 10 is a “cloud” system, and a lot of tracking and adware is included. This is a privacy issue. Alternatively, if your computer is not as fast and there’s no Windows-specific software you need, and privacy matters (it does even if you don’t realize it), then Linux is a better choice.
How much does Linux cost?
It’s free. This includes Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
How much does Windows 10 cost?
It depends on where you live and what deals you can find. In some countries you can legally buy an “OEM license” to save a lot of money, instead of buying the standard, full license. In Germany for example, it’s perfectly fine to buy an OEM license for personal use. And there’s always the “upgrade” license which is also cheaper, when coming from Windows 7.
What can I do with Linux? Can I surf the web? Work with office documents?
Yes and yes! You can use Firefox and Google Chrome and others, to surf the web and LibreOffice and others for free to work on documents! And lots more! Looking for specific software? Let me know in the comments!
What Linux distribution should I use?
I recommend Linux Mint, an Ubuntu-based system. That’s because Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support), which means it’s supported for many years. And Ubuntu includes many drivers and has a big software repository (imagine “app store”) and is easy to use.
But then why Linux Mint instead of Ubuntu directly?
Because I feel like the Cinnamon desktop that comes with Linux Mint is easier to use and more familiar to people that come from Windows. Plus, you can make it look like Windows 7! Check my previous post to see how:
How do I get Linux Mint?
Download it for free from https://linuxmint.com/download.php
How do I install Linux Mint (or Ubuntu)?
Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) has written an excellent guide which also applies to Linux Mint: https://ubuntu.com/blog/how-to-upgrade-from-windows-7-to-ubuntu-installation
Looks like a lot of work!
It’s not as bad as it looks, and a little effort will save you some money. ;)
I’m not convinced!
It’s faster than Windows 10, especially on older hardware. Try it for yourself, it’s free. If you don’t like it you can still buy Windows 10 later.
I want more info on this!
Check Microsoft’s official website about this: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4057281/windows-7-support-ended-on-january-14-2020
⚠️ Again: No matter what you choose to migrate to, remember to make a backup of your data first!
That’s all there is to it, now go look into switching OS to stay safe!