After ten years of service, Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft from 14 January, 2020. This means that to avoid security breaches, it’s time to upgrade your PCs!
Fortunately, there are some quick and easy low-cost solutions available, most notably-Windows 10.
Getting hold of Windows 10 couldn’t be easier - here’s what to do:
• Acquire a license – There are currently two Windows 10 options available – Home and Pro. Both licences can be purchased directly from the Microsoft website and installed quickly.
Alternatively, if you do fancy popping down to the shops you can purchase Windows 10 off the shelf at various retail outlets. We take a look at three of the benefits to Windows 10.
1. Windows 10 is more secure
The most important factor to consider is that Windows 10 is still receiving regular updates, so when things like new security exploits are discovered, Microsoft is quick to patch them, keeping your personal data secure. On the other hand, Windows 7 will no longer provide patches after the January deadline, so it will only become more insecure as time goes by and hackers find new ways to exploit it.
There are many business and home users who still prefer to run Windows 7, whether that is due to compatibility with older hardware and apps, or just a general preference for the Windows 7 OS. However, Windows 10 can run a virtualised copy of Windows 7, meaning there aren’t too many reasons to stick with 7 even if you consider the above an issue.
2. Windows 10 has an enhanced user experience
Windows 10 has a beefed-up start menu with tons of new features. Live tiles from Windows 8 are included on the right side of the menu, although if you’d prefer not to have these then they are easily removed. Following the anniversary update in Windows 10, live-tiles took you to what was being displayed, rather than to the app’s home page.
One of the key areas where Windows 7 and Windows 10 differ is in search. In Windows 10, the Search bar not only looks for folders, apps and files on your PC, but is also linked to the Windows Store and your browser, so it can search the web right from your desktop. This means there is no need to navigate to the right tab when you want to look something up, just hit the Windows key, start typing and your search results will be displayed in a browser window.
Cortana is the built-in assistant in Windows 10, and an integral part of the desktop OS. You can activate Cortana virtual assistant, by typing or - if your PC or laptop has a microphone - by talking, adding to a better experience than Windows 7.
Clicking on the Search area in the Taskbar opens Cortana interface and allows you to ask her various questions, such as search queries, your upcoming appointments, the weather, directions to the nearest coffee shop and many others. Cortana can also schedule appointments, take dictated notes, add tasks and reminders and play music.
Cortana has apps for both iOS and Android, making it a useful way to organise your life across multiple devices, all from your Windows 10 desktop.
Whilst it’s technically possible to have a virtual desktop in Windows 7, Windows 10 has the feature included directly in the operating system. Simply click on the Task view icon located in the Taskbar (or use the Win+Tab key combination) and you’ll be able to quickly add a virtual desktop by clicking on New desktop in the top-left corner.
Now you can easily drag open applications onto the new workspace and declutter your various tasks. Navigating between them is easy, and as they all share the same data any changes you make will be universal.
3. Windows 10 has new features
Windows 10 has some fantastic new features including Snap Assist, Syncing desktop settings, Windows Ink, Timeline, and others. But whether you’re tempted by any of the new features, it’s the end of support that should be the key deciding factor in moving away from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
Ultimately, then, the question isn’t really whether Windows 10 is better than Windows 7 (it is) but whether it’s safe to keep using the old OS. And after 14 January 2020, it won’t be.