Microsoft ending Windows 7 support, computers now vulnerable to security breaches

Microsoft ending Windows 7 support, computers now vulnerable to security breaches
Photo credit: Reuters

People who run Windows 7 on their computers are being urged by cyber-security experts to update their operating system.

Microsoft announced it is abandoning support for its Windows 7 operating system (OS), meaning computers currently using it will no longer receive security updates and patches that keep the machines safe - potentially opening the door for hackers.

The support is coming to an end on January 14, 2020. While computers operating on Windows 7 will still function, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for issues as well as software and security updates.

Microsoft said on its website it recommends people move to Windows 10, a newer OS that came out in 2015.

"Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10. And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC."

For a computer to run Windows 10, it needs a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM memory and 16GB of hard drive space.

"While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended."

A new copy of Windows 10 costs $259 for the Home version and $419 for the Pro version. The latter provides more security protection, including remote encryption if a device is lost.

Windows 7 was released in 2009, and more than one in four Windows users currently run this OS, according to statistics website StatCounter.

Although some users still use even older versions of Windows. In late 2019, photos emerged appearing to show Russian President Vladimir Putin still using Windows XP, an OS first released in 2001.

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