Windows 7: Microsoft waves an early goodbye

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 15, 2017
Updated • Jan 18, 2017

Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is still the world's most widely used OS, but that does not stop Microsoft from waving an early goodbye to the operating system.

The company informed customers on the German Microsoft press site that support for Windows 7 will end on January 14, 2020: about three years from today.

This means, according to Microsoft, that devices won't receive security updates or technical support anymore if they still run Windows 7 by that time.

If you are a regular here on Ghacks, or on other tech sites, you know that support will run out. You know about the Windows lifecycle, and that Windows 7 won't be supported forever by Microsoft.

Microsoft waving goodbye to Windows 7

Microsoft's press release paints a grim picture, highlighting that Windows 7 is the cause for high operating costs, that Windows 7 is susceptible for malware attacks causing a reduction in work time, and the cause for an increase in support requests.

In addition, manufacturers have begun to stop providing drivers for Windows 7 for hardware they release; Windows 7 won't support the newest chips by AMD, Intel or Qualcomm on top of all that.

Microsoft's solution for all of this is the company's newest operating system Windows 10. It states that it was never easier to switch from an older version of Windows to Windows 10. Windows 10 furthermore would offer better and exclusive security features and non-security features such as biometric authentication or the personal assistant Cortana.

My Take

Microsoft gets some of the facts right. Windows 7 support will run out in 2020, there is no doubt about that.

It is also okay to inform customers about the end of support for a much used operating system, even three years in advance. Home users may not have any issues changing an operating system from one week to the next, but companies may need months or even years in advanced to prepare for that.

But the press release is not entirely fair when it comes to Windows 7. I cannot really confirm for instance that companies have stopped distributing drivers for Windows 7 with their hardware components.

While that may be the case for a small selection of components, it seems highly unlikely that companies would stop producing drivers for the most used operating system out there at this point in time.

If there is one company that did that, it is Microsoft itself as company executives made the decision not to long ago to support newer chips by AMD or Intel only on Windows 10 and not on older versions of the Windows operating system. That decision was made deliberately by Microsoft.

Windows 10 offers better out of the box security than Windows 7, but it should be clear that security can always be better, and that third-party software, and making good use of common sense, may improve it significantly.

Closing Words

It is clear that the time that Windows 7 has left is running out. Three years is a long time however, and the prospect of migrating to an operating system that gets new feature upgrades twice a year may not be to the liking of companies who prefer as little change as possible when it comes to operating systems.

Sure, there is the long term servicing branch of the Enterprise edition of Windows 10, but it is reserved to the Enterprise edition. Small businesses, and medium sized businesses who use Pro versions of Windows 10 face the tough challenge of having to upgrade their devices to these new feature upgrade versions of Windows 10 regularly.

There is also the privacy issue. Microsoft promises to improve privacy options with the release of the Creators Update, out April 2017.

The company burned lots of bridges however, not only because of increased telemetry collecting in Windows 10, but also because of the aggressive pushing of the free Windows 10 upgrade to customer systems.

Now You: Windows 7, Windows 10, or another operating system? What will your devices run?

Windows 7: Microsoft waves an early goodbye
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Windows 7: Microsoft waves an early goodbye
Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is still the world's most widely used OS, but that does not stop Microsoft from waving an early goodbye to the operating system.
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  1. Corky said on January 20, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Looks like it’s all academic now anyhow as Microsoft Germany have pulled the page saying that Windows 7 can no longer keep up with today’s increased security requirements.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 20, 2017 at 9:15 am

      They moved it to Technet. Published it on the press site, pulled it, then re-published it on Technet.

  2. Tinfoil_Hat said on January 18, 2017 at 12:04 am

    @martin b
    your link to that article: page not found

    should be this one, right?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 18, 2017 at 7:13 am

      Yes that is it, sorry for that!

  3. NOTW said on January 17, 2017 at 11:47 am

    @Clairvaux Your comments about the POSReady2009 reg hack are absolutely logical and reasonable. That said, getting compromised involves a great many variables, witness the fact that so many are now proudly proclaiming that they have turned off all updates on various Windows versions with no issues. We don’t actually know what sorts of updates POSReady 2009 does or does not get but uninstalling and reinstalling Microsoft Security Essentials afterward will see it getting regular malware updates and showing the computer as protected.

    My point is that you are speculating about risks and treating your conclusions as facts. While you are most likely correct at least in part, we are both just guessing so I would moderate my condemnation somewhat if I were you. And in case I haven’t been clear, it’s a gamble I don’t recommend either but if someone is going to stay on XP, it may be the lesser evil.

    1. Clairvaux said on January 17, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Lesser evil, obviously. When dealing with risks, it’s speculation by definition. You can drive recklessly for years and not have a single accident. It does not make it advisable. I myself have stopped updating for several months, not by choice, but because my Windows Update is broken, repair seems a pain, I would have to deal with the new Microsoft way of doing things and I’m postponing it.

  4. 420 said on January 17, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I would highly recommend anyone who is blocking all updates to use this tool martin has wrote about

    It will allow you to update windows 7 and other windows with only security updates automatically, which previously was not possible automatically. Then you will have a nice win 7 with only security updates and no nonsense you still should go configure the group policy editor, like turn off telemetry etc… I have done this with a fresh win 7 pro install and it works great, feels faster without all the other crap too.

    1. Clairvaux said on January 17, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      That’s what Woody of AskWoody calls group B, and it’s heavily covered on his blog with all sorts of advice by all sorts of people (which seems to be necessary ; updating is now a job in itself, unless you consent to Microsoft’s blind dumping which includes telemetry).

      1. Clairvaux said on January 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm

        www, his whole blog is dedicated to that, so it’s difficult to point you to one particular thread. Hang on, though, because he’s about to launch a forum appendage to his blog, where presumably old discussions will be much easier to search.

        Here is a thread a bookmarked, just in case :

        (That’s group W. Luddites. People who’ve decided not to update anymore in disgust. Group A is Microsoft-compliant, and takes automatic updates for both security and “features”. Group B updates manually for security only.)

        A post by senior commentator ch100 :

        A step-by-step guide by senior commentator Canadian Tech who’s also active on Microsoft’s Answers, for those whose Windows Update is stuck :

      2. www said on January 18, 2017 at 12:21 pm

        @Clairvaux, Do you have a link for that particular discussion?

        I tried googling it and must have used the wrong criteria.

  5. dt said on January 17, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Am currently running Win 7 and am happy with it, it’s what my laptop was designed for. When I bought it, the first thing I did was turn off “updates”. So no real interest in Win 10. In three years who knows what OS will be the defacto standard. The one thing I do know is that I wouldn’t be using one sold on a subscription basis.

  6. vosie said on January 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    “In addition, manufacturers have begun to stop providing drivers for Windows 7 for hardware they release; Windows 7 won’t support the newest chips by AMD, Intel or Qualcomm on top of all that.”

    It’s nothing more than cartel conduct and planned obsolescence by corporations.

    There is absolutely no point and reason to install Windows 10, not even Windows 7. Windows XP works perfectly. Who cares if Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7? They already stopped supporting XP, yet XP is still working perfectly.

    Even at my workplace, in the council all computers run Windows XP with disabled Windows updates, but with up to date antivirus and a router-based security.

    So XP is still good for everything, except if you want to play the latest games and you need DirectX or the latest .NET framework which they didn’t make for XP because of planned obsolescence. And that’s why the latest DirectX is available only on Windows 10. They want to force people to use Win 10.

    1. Clairvaux said on January 18, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Yes, I’m a victim of marketing. And you’re the lone genius who knows, in the face of all the evidence and informed analysis, that XP is perfectly safe. Show me one world-known computer expert who says as much. Show me the research papers having audited XP recently, and their conclusion that XP is exploit-free and safe to use. Show me the IT professionals who advise businesses to stay with XP, because “it’s OK with just a router and anti-virus”. Who are they ? When did they go on the record saying that, and betting their reputation on their claims ?

      We live in a world where the director of the goddam CIA has his personal mail hacked by a low-level prankster, and you’re telling me that running a whole organisation on XP is perfectly safe ? Have you ever heard of drive-by infections ? Do you know that 30 % of NHS trusts in Great-Britain have been hit by ransomware ? Do you suppose they were running CP/M, and were devoid of anti-virus and routers ?

    2. Clairvaux said on January 16, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Unfortunately, anti-virus and routers are not enough to protect against exploits. XP has long been unsupported, which means it’s an open avenue for attack. Even the harshest Microsoft critics among the experts warn against using XP anymore. Unless you’re not connected to the Internet obviously, and don’t have any USB ports.

      Hopefully, your concil has multiple backups and they are regularly tested. Such organisations are prime targets for ransomware.

      1. www said on January 18, 2017 at 12:41 pm

        @voise, the only browser left that has XP support is Firefox and that will end sometime in this year. According to this article, they are predicting March, 2017.

        What are you going to do then?

        As time goes on, websites change and won’t render properly because you are using an outdated browser and won’t see them properly. Ever try using IE10 nowadays? That’s what it will look like. Broken, disjointed text and javascript because you refused to update with the times. And that’s not even taking into account the security aspect of it.

        The only future for XP is as a standalone machine not connected to the internet running legacy programs that you are too attached into giving up.

        Really, man. Get a clue. Try to learn some Linux if you hate newer M$ OSes so much. Or find out the hard way which I suspect you’ll be doing, anyway.

      2. vosie said on January 18, 2017 at 8:17 am

        Antivirus and routers are perfectly enough to protect XP.
        You just got manipulatedy by the marketing that want to create fear and alienate people from XP and to deceive them to buy newer Windows.

      3. Clairvaux said on January 17, 2017 at 2:11 am

        Yes. I know. I read your comment. Just because it’s possible does not mean it’s safe. What you’re talking about is basically a hack. We don’t know if it’s supported by Microsoft (on the face of it, it isn’t).

        It’s meant to trick your computer into thinking it’s a cash register. Cash registers don’t access the Internet, or at least they don’t surf the Web, exchange mail, do instant messaging and the like. It’s highly unlikely that Microsoft updates meant for point of sales terminals address the attacks levelled at a PC facing the Internet all day long.

        There’s no place you can turn to for assistance. Regular Microsoft updates for supported operating systems create all sorts of problems by themselves. It’s already a full-time job for some people to keep their systems running and secure while they are officially supported, and you’re telling us that just changing a few register keys in Windows XP will magically make it safe and smooth, while this simulates an environment completely different from one’s own, and unfamiliar to most ?

        It might “work”, and it might give one bragging rights (“Look ! I receive Windows XP updates !”), but there’s no way this will make it safe. To begin with, a vast number of application software don’t support XP anymore, and might even be downright incompatible. So you need to use ancient, unsupported programs, which are bound to be wide open to their own set of exploits.

        Microsoft updates meant for POS terminals might even break things which are never attached to POS terminals, but are routinely used with PCs. It’s a hack. It’s fun to know you can make a hack work, but there’s a world of difference with a real, reliable solution.

      4. Sum Guy said on January 17, 2017 at 1:45 am

        See my comment (above) about Win-XP. Microsoft is *STILL* supporting XP -> by way of updates to POSReady 2009. POSReady 2009 is what Micro$haft strategically called a specific version of XP-SP3 intended for POS (point-of-service) PC’s. Those are PC’s used by bank tellers, airline check-in counters, retail cash registers, etc. All you have to do is add or modify 4 registry entries on your XP-SP3 machine and as far as WindowsUpdate is concerned, it’s now a POSReady 2009 machine. Then have it do a Windows-Update check. You’ll see that it will magically discover new updates, fixes and patches. Just search for POSReady XP hack. Read about it on the MSFN XP forum. POSReady 2009 will be getting updates until April 2019. And for those of you using Win-7, I think there’s another newer version of POS based on Windows 7, and that OS will be getting updates for years.

  7. Simon Ch said on January 16, 2017 at 10:24 am

    (following up previous comment)

    Yes, I’ve been swinging back and forth between Linux and Windows, since the force Windows 10 debacle, but have been swinging back to Linux more and more, I basically have CentOS as my base OS, with Windows 7 running in a KVM with a dummy virtual network adapter that goes nowhere, it’s happy and I’m safe.

    I have a Windows 10 on KVM also with a dummy network connector to prevent Microsoft malware. Windows 10 complains a lot about no network connectivity, giving themselves and their agenda away in the process.

  8. Rob OK said on January 16, 2017 at 10:18 am

    I just love reading these comments. To know I’m not the only one wary of Windows 10 and Microsoft’s shadiness.

  9. ilev said on January 16, 2017 at 9:52 am

    As I blocked all updates to my Windows 7 PC for the last 2.5 years, I don’t care if Microsoft stops supporting the OS in 3 years. By that time I probably switch to a MacBook anyway.

    1. hirobo said on January 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      same here. I stopped updating Win7 a few months before Win10 became RTM. Not worried at all about any telemetry MS may have sneaked in Win7 updates since then…

  10. rhY said on January 16, 2017 at 9:45 am


  11. Owl said on January 16, 2017 at 8:10 am

    They will not change direction. For those considering Linux sometime in the future, I suggest Virtualbox, and download a user-friendly distro, Mint, etc., to get used to it. (You will in a short time). Who knows what is up the sleeve for 7 or 8.1? (Update problems, etc.).

  12. Wayfarer said on January 16, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Microsoft – the single biggest reason Linux doesn’t need to advertise.

  13. randy said on January 16, 2017 at 1:24 am

    LOL, who honestly didn’t see this coming?

    Just another attempt from the Microborg Collective to try and scaremonger ignorant folks into switching to their W10 spyware platform sooner rather than later.

    I guess the telemetry updates are not being applied by W7 users, so this is plan B. Can’t wait to see what plan C is.

  14. LD said on January 15, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I have a valid and binding contract with Microsoft that does not expire until January 2020. I do not want to renegotiate or cancel that contract as I am very happy with my purchase – that happens to be a license to use W7/Pro. I like this software – I am a delighted MS customer.

    I have a 5 year old Lenovo business laptop that cost me a pretty penny and it came optimized by the OEM for W7/Pro. It is well built and very responsive. That too was a binding contract (warranty now expired), but this little Chinese gerbil will probably last through to 2020 also. I like the hardware – I am a delighted customer.

    Microsoft should be delighted to have a satisfied customer. The most valued customer, is a return customer. That does not mean an intimidated customer. I will not bend to intimidation. Marketing is a source of pure entertainment to me. The current mob at Redmond are a laugh a minute. “Microsoft’s press release paints a grim picture, highlighting that Windows 7 is the cause for high operating costs, that Windows 7 is susceptible for malware attacks causing a reduction in work time, and the cause for an increase in support requests.” – That is a classic.

  15. Tinfoil_Hat said on January 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Windows 10….. AKA that famous (in)operating system made to 90% fulfill M$ needs and 10% left to users? IMO whe should update the term “user” into “used” (by M$)

    Meanwhile last week I performed the 27th forced rollback since 1st dec., to win7-8 of win10 infected PCs.
    complaints where the nearly the same for almost all owners: ads everywhere, general poor performance, PC experiencing “demoniac possession”, loss of data… yesterday those files where there, today no more.
    Only two where concerned about their privacy, one being a lawyer. One decided to buy a coreboot/libreboot machine.
    Everyone of those poor souls received transcript of Gleen Greenwald why privacy matters talk (

  16. MikeFromMarkham said on January 15, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Martin, I have to agree with the majority of your readers, and will be sticking with Windows 7 SP1 on my primary desktop computer until 2020. My backup desktop runs a carefully configured version of 8.1 PRO and will likely keep doing that until 2023, unless I install Linux before then.

    I do own two Windows 10 devices. One is an HP Stream 7 tablet that originally came with Windows 8.1, and I put 10 on it just to see if it would work. So far, nothing has broken it, which is tryly remarkable considering it cost so very little ans so many other computers have been hosed by Window 10 updates over the past year. But I really don’t use if for anything, it’s just there. I will likely reinstall Windows 8.1 some time this Spring, or give Ubuntu touch a try to see if I can make that work just for fun.

    My other Windows 10 device is a fairly new, decently spec’d laptop (I6 CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, high res touch screen, optical drive) I bought on sale to replace the year-old Windows 8.1 laptop I gave to my daughter when her laptop went up in smoke last fall.

    When I took the laptop out of the package, I updated W10 to whatever was current that day, then I disconnected it from the internet, made 2 full image backups in case I ever need to go back to W10 on that machine, and then I reconnected and installed Linux Mint 18.1 on it to use as the primary OS, and It runs as smooth as silk.

    I’ve dabbled with various Linux distros over the last 5 years, and will likely install one or two more over the next few months, but this year I hope to decide on one distro going forward, and that will eventually be my primary OS on all of my machines.

    I do not intend to become involved in the whole Windows-as-a-disservice circus ever again,

    1. 420 said on January 16, 2017 at 5:15 am

      I would suggest trying Manjaro, it is based on arch linux, so it is a rolling release. I fell in love with it after trying ubuntu, mint, debian, fedora etc… and yeah I know some of those are based on others of those. Very easy to install, friendly forums, not snobs and I have not had a hiccup yet, I did not cause myself from messing around.

      1. MikeFromMarkham said on January 16, 2017 at 5:40 am

        @420, Thanks for the reminder. I did have a USB key with a live version of Manjaro several months ago, but never got around to trying it out. However, It is one of the 2-3 other distros I want to examine further before I make a final decision.

  17. Don C said on January 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Gee, does this mean Microsoft is admitting that Win 7 is an inferior product and that they made all that money selling it knowing its susceptibility to Malware attacks and lost production time for their customers? I guess there will be a class-action settlement and I can expect a refund?

    1) Don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath. 2) Microsoft seems to have devolved to the morals and marketing techniques of a used car salesman. Why would I trust anything they say after this?

  18. StickMan said on January 15, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    I used windows 10 back when it was a preview.
    I used windows 10 back when it was RTM.
    I used windows 10 back on it’s first major update.
    I have removed windows 10 from nearly 50 computer by request.

    The UI is a huge complaint mainly due to all the white you can’t get rid of. Hopefully neon will do something about getting rid of all the white washing. However it’s never been a reason why someone has asked me to revert them back to windows 7. The biggest reason has always been that Windows 10 updates tend to do more damage then good. Nearly every person who has asked me to revert them back to windows 7 has had their system crippled, or have lost data to a windows 10 update.

  19. Sum Guy said on January 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Just remember that XP is _still_ being supported – by way of updates to POSReady 2009 (what a lot of cash registers, bank tellers, ticket agent terminals run). A few registry entries on your XP box and your system will be downloading patches and fixes until April 2019. This is a well known fact on some forums like MSFN.

  20. P said on January 15, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    One last thing, I go back a ways. I remember people standing in lines at midnight to buy M$’s latest. I remember the excitement of installing Win95/XP/7 but now it seems M$ has to trick you, bribe you or just plain force Win10 onto your computer by eliminating the function of X. Its very sad really.

  21. kalmly said on January 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I see no reason to leave behind a beloved OS because MS is going to stop “support”. My XP machine runs better than ever. Updates are turned off on the Win 7 – to protect it. Warnings about what will happen to computers running unsupported versions of Windows are overblown, and I wonder why folks are so quick to believe it.

    I plan on buying another computer and another Win7 disk, so when this computer can no longer be repaired, I’ll have another waiting in the wings that I can customize to my specifications. When the day comes I can no longer use that one, I will have to decide between Linux and Apple. Sad day, indeed.

  22. Lurking About said on January 15, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    After being burned by a couple of MS’ sleazy tactics with W10 Windows is not allowed on the Internet on any devices it is installed and only used for a couple of legacy applications. All Internet facing machines use Linux. Since the Windows is not allowed on the Internet as long as there is device driver available for the hardware there are no plans to update Windows.

    1. ams said on January 15, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      Regarding device drivers, I thought both nvidia and amd nowadays required use of “experience” installer (or catalyst or whatever they’re calling it now), installation of which demands net connectivity. Is that not the case? Asking because I’ve refrained from updating the graphics card on my not-network-accessible win7 box due to an expectation that I cannot download a just “bare driver” using a different PC then copy to pendrive then copy/install to win7 PC.

      1. Corky said on January 16, 2017 at 11:35 am

        @ams, Can’t speak of catalyst drivers but with Nvidia the installation of Geforce experience (the online part) isn’t a requirement, although they don’t make it obvious if you choose a custom install it allows you to select what components you want to install.

  23. P said on January 15, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    M$ is still trying to say goodbye to XP, goodluck with 7, arguably the greatest UI ever designed.

  24. Sum Guy said on January 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    What a load of horseshit. It’s always the same with Macro$haft. Get Windows X! It’s better and more secure than Windows X-1. Do you know what I’m using to post this comment? Windows 98se (with Kex) on a P4 box with a few 1-TB sata hard drives, 2 gb ram (yes, win-98 can use up to 3 gb with a commonly available hack), 256 mb AGP video card (it does the job). Funny thing about Win-98 – there were hardly any exploits (web-based, network-based, etc) that could hit it. It was never vulnerable to network worms. Win-2k and XP-SP0/SP1 were the best trojan-hosting machines ever devised by man. Spam became a “thing”, on an industrial scale, because of XP. Milkro$oft’s motto: If it works, it’s not complicated enough. The entire NT-based line of OS’s: The emperor’s new clothes.

    1. hirobo said on January 17, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      which web browser are u using in win98? i could never find a modern one for it…

  25. neal fildes said on January 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I stay on 7/8.1 because there is no practical replacement for windows media center and its support for my horrendous tv provider’s obsession with DRM. I just downgraded from 8.1 to 7 on one of my 3 media centers because microsoft kept feeding it updates it could not accept. I will keep my win8 disks in a drawer just in case.

    1. 420 said on January 16, 2017 at 5:05 am

      kaffeine on linux works pretty much the same as media center in my mind, I am sure others would and will disagree vehemently, lol. And yes I do have one win 7 pro box I use occasionally.

  26. Davin Peterson said on January 15, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Windows 7 is a beloved operation system – still the most popular used version of Windows.
    I like the beautiful Aero glass, which Microsoft took away in newer version of Windows.
    Also, it is a very stable operating system and fast.
    The only major problem with Windows 7 is that is very susceptible for malware attacks. At the Library, our public machines have had malware attacks.
    Internet Explorer 11 is the latest version of IE for it, which Microsoft is no longer updating or adding features too. This browser is a bit outdated now.
    While software developers are starting to drop support for Vista, they are still supporting Windows 7.

  27. Gary O'Connor said on January 15, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    When Windows 10 came out, and for months afterwards, any mention of Windows 10 on a blog would solicit complaints from hundreds of Anti-Microsoft trolls who were working tirelessly to destroy any chance of Windows 10 being successful. Lots of those were avid Apple followers but many were from the Linux hopefuls working in the vein hope that they might actually be able to create the fabled ‘Year of Linux on the desktop’ without having to claim Android as Linux when it is actually Java.
    Now, look at the response here, only about 20 of you have turned up? What has happened to all your mates?
    Probably off being creative on their Windows 10 machines because they’ve discovered that W10 is the best OS that Microsoft have produced yet and it even includes a Linux sandbox for them to play in. They have also realised that it is far better than anything that Apple or Linux have yet produced.
    Now donning my body armour :)
    Seriously though folks, I am a software developer, I sit at a desk that has a Windows 10 desktop, a Widows 7/Linux dual booting desktop and an iMac running El Capitan. I have various Android tablets and a couple of iPads as well as an iPhone 6s a Samsung S7 Edge and a Lumia 950XL and I use them all and I can tell you that I, and every one of my clients that have upgraded, believe Windows 10 IS the best OS that Microsoft has yet produced.
    I do agree with a couple of you here though when you say that if you’re not happy with Windows 10, just hang onto W7 for the next three years and I guarantee that by then you will more than likely agree that W10 is the place to be and happily upgrade.
    I’d also like to thank you for all the bitching and wailing that you do because I suspect that you have caused Microsoft to work on improvements that they otherwise might not have, so thank you for that.

    1. Count Soxington said on January 18, 2017 at 9:15 am

      You’ve triggered so many haters.

      Im with you. Quite like Win10. Many many Vast improvements over win7/8.1.

      1. Clairvaux said on January 18, 2017 at 2:31 pm

        Also, what’s wrong with hating ? Are all people, things and organisations lovable ? No.

        Good judgement comes from being discriminating enough. It’s not loving everybody that counts. Nobody does. It’s knowing whom to love and whom to hate.

        (If that word hurts you, you can replace it with intensely dislike, strongly disapprove of, rather objects to, isn’t particularly fond of — or would never buy again from. All perfectly legitimate feelings and attitudes, hate included.)

      2. Gary D said on January 18, 2017 at 1:45 pm

        @ Count Soxington

        “You’ve triggered so many haters”.
        The people posting are not haters. They are users who resent the liberties which MS is attempting to take with THEIR personal data by using telemetry, phoning home etc. The attempts by MS to force auto install of Win 10 with GWX has been one of the major annoyances.That is why they have made the deliberate choice not to install Win 10 until such time as they can control and configure the OS.

        “Quite like Win10. Many many Vast improvements over win7/8.1”
        That is a very vague statement. Please post another comment in which you detail exactly what these improvements are.

        This is a short list of non-improvements:
        Deleted drivers, apps removal, uninstallable security updates, botched Fast Ring releases (15007 has 23 known problems), OS upgrade builds which hang leaving the user with unusable PCs, etc. There are many other problems which should have been fixed by now. After all, Win 10 has been available for 18 months and IMO it is still only beta quality.

        I look forward to your response in which you list the Win 10 improvements but I will not hold my breath waiting for it.

    2. DaveyK said on January 16, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Gary, the “bitching and wailing” will stop when MS does the following:

      1) Implements an “off” button for the telemetry that actually works, and is honest and open about exactly what data they do collect (shadiness breeds lack of trust).

      2) Implement better controls over updates. It’s my machine, and I will not accept updates being forced onto it against my control, especially when there have been a number of bad updates released by MS that have broken various things.

      3) Fix the UI! It’s part Windows 8, part Windows 7, part Windows XP/2000. It’s an unfinished mess in places and is not coherent.

      4) Apologise unreservedly for the GWX fiasco and the utter contempt that they showed their loyal customers during this mess.

      I do actually agree that Windows 10 is a good OS. However, it has a few major issues that greatly sour things, and they’re not actually that difficult to fix either. Until then though, I’ll stick with an OS that has a coherent UI, control over updates and no telemetry (ie, Windows 7).

    3. Anonymous said on January 15, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Legal actions not only from the Swiss government… any “software developer” should inform every one of his clients that he “suspect” Windows 10 to be a spyware :)

    4. Admin07 said on January 15, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      It must be really painful for some users to realize that Microsoft has been collecting browsing history and search history for each user (without stripping personally identifying information) and who knows what other information. Microsoft stated that it would remove all identifying information from the telemetry and it was a blatant lie.

      You can log into your account Microsoft account on a Microsoft server and ‘clear’ the information. I have a feeling that ‘clear’ in Microsoft’s (misinformation) language means ‘hide’ and not ‘delete’.

      By the way, the current changes were due to the Swiss government intending to take legal action against Microsoft for breaching privacy and this was Microsoft’s response to avoid the legal action. It had absolutely nothing to do with your idea of ‘trolls’ and I doubt Microsoft would have admitted taking the browser history and search history except that it was forced to do so by the Swiss government.

      It turns out the anti-bully, pro-privacy users were a much better judge of character than the trusting loyal Microsoft users.

      There is very little chance of a significant number of users moving to Windows 10 when it contains blatant spyware. It steals user’s browser history and search history and who knows what else. Very few users will accept this blatant violation of their privacy and security. It’s as simple as that.

      Windows 10 is dead as an OS for many users because of these reasons and there is zero chance that these users will ever use it. It wont matter if its 3 years or 10 years.

      If you want spyware, use Windows 10….

    5. T J said on January 15, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      @ Gary O’Connor

      “I am a software developer.” So, how do you cope with all the problems that your “happy” Win 10 clients need you to fix with every new iteration of this flawed OS ?

      The latest Fast Ring release, 15007, has 23 KNOWN FAULTS !!
      I realize that it is for testing by Win 10 fanboys like you so that you can act as unpaid QA staff for MS and feed the fixes back to them. But, even on the Fast Ring, these known faults should have been corrected before the release. However the bosses and programmers at MS cannot be arsed. Why? Because the “useful idiots” (like you) on the Fast Ring can’t wait to show what clever programmers you are.

      Read the rest of the comments on your stupid post and, next time, engage your brain before you engage your typing finger. Can you use more than one ?

      Consider yourself flamed.

    6. Tom Hawack said on January 15, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      @Gary, I have to agree with Clairxaux’s comment above. Yet maybe do I understand what you have in mind, maybe do you believe the Web carries an atmosphere of hysteria and that a few bright minds have the ability to impact the vast majority of us, including in the fact of manipulating our ideas with a series of programmed interventions in social sites, blogs … This may be true but I believe it would concern ideas, philosophy, societal problems, religion, politics but far less the situation where an acquisition is concerned. There’s money, possession and above all pleasure in the air or at the horizon. And also, this is not the situation of a dandy spreading his word on how awful the last Ferrari behaves but a context with, what? 2 billion users connected? I don’t believe this is a situation which would enable a minority to influence a majority.

      This said, it is true that we are many to prefer strong feelings to luck-warm objectivity. But the point is that besides objectivity stands devotion as well as hatred : some people may look as if they enjoy wrecking a product”s reputation and when you meet them the day after you’ll see/hear/read their most enthusiast comments on another product.

      So the question is ; does it make any sens to consider that those who dislike would have been manipulated and that those who like and them only would be objective? Obviously not. Everyday shows us happy users and who say why they are happy, but when such an amount, such a percentage of users (world-wide, this is not a psy laboratory with seven students) who detail their experience, for others who learn everyday from the former the amount of problems with a product… well, they remain aware but also slightly annoyed (to put it mildly) about the nerve of a company who dares threaten those, reluctant to move on to Win10.

      People loved XP, cried over Vista, loved (and still do!) 7 … no one, who could? created a trend to have a planet endure problems and evoke them. This is planetary, no World Guru yet!

    7. Corky said on January 15, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      @Gary O’Connor, Seriously? You wrote all that simply to troll.

      I would normally respond to the points you’ve raised but what you’ve said is so full of logical fallacies, assumptions, and other flaws it’s really not worth it.

      One point i will address though is how you say you’re software developer and how every one of your clients believe Windows 10 IS the best OS that Microsoft has yet produced, i think that says more about you and your clients than Windows 10 TBH.

    8. P said on January 15, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      I’ve rolled back 2 laptops and 1 desktop to W7 over the past few months, customers said they couldn’t stand it anymore. Hardware/Software not working, update problems, restarting for no reason, WiFi disappearing, sound not working, printer problems. Don’t even get me started on complaints about the new Office gui! Over the past year I’ve only had one customer wanting to upgrade to 10 and they still love it. No accounting for taste!

      M$ has adopted a hostile attitude toward its customers, that it knows what is best for you and therefor you don’t need choice. They forgot about individuality. Then they dumped DRM whip cream and a SPYING cherry on top of it. This is a common theme for companies these days. I believe this to be a major mistake.

    9. Garry said on January 15, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      Waste of space alert.

    10. Clairvaux said on January 15, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      “Complaints from hundreds of Anti-Microsoft trolls.”

      You’re projecting. Incidentally, the word you’re looking for is users. Not trolls : users.

      “Lots of those were avid Apple followers but many were from the Linux hopefuls.”

      That’s absurd. This just shows you haven’t been following the thousands of discussions going on. Those were, and are, Microsoft users trying to hang on their beloved Microsoft products. How does liking and using Windows 7 qualifies one as an “anti-Microsoft troll” ? Did you ever read Woody Leonhard’s blog ?

      As for Apple users, they are busy usings their Macs, and generally quite happy with them. They don’t need to troll discussions that don’t relate to them, the way you do. (I don’t know what an “Apple follower” is ; why don’t you speak of “Microsoft followers”, or of “Windows 10 followers” ?)

      Regarding Linux, yes there’s often mentions made to it, and generally they are from old-time Microsoft users looking at reluctantly making the switch, in the wake of all the hostility and nonsense they have had to suffer from once-reliable Microsoft. Also from Linux converts or dual booters, encouraging others to transition. What’s wrong with that ? What’s wrong with people helping each other ? Beats your snickering anytime, in my opinion.

      “Hang onto W7 for the next three years and I guarantee that by then you will more than likely agree that W10 is the place to be and happily upgrade.”

      This, again, shows you don’t know what you’re talking about. Nobody can “guarantee” anything about what the Microsoft landscape will be in three years. Not even Microsoft themselves.

      It’s funny how some people can’t just be content with using happily the systems and products they’ve chosen for themselves. They also feel an urge to berate those who don’t use the same tools for different reasons. How stupid and immature can that be ?

      1. Lillary said on January 16, 2017 at 4:55 am

        To use the tone of a poorly designed US music instrument: “Wroooooong !

      2. Steve V. said on January 16, 2017 at 1:08 am

        i suspect that hes paid to sing the flatulence songs of windows 10. there are certainly lots of such throughout the web.

  28. Pierre said on January 15, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    when will the general public AKA the end user, tire of the constant requirement to always upgrade?.
    – windows-7 was a good system, so now look forward to windows-11.
    but, will they always “keep paying”?.

  29. Yuliya said on January 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Nah, I don’t need their updates anymore. Since those rollups WU is disabled here and I have no problems whatsoever. Also no more daily checking, so I’ve also gotten rid of the annoying CPU usage that would occur every morning.
    Also I recently installed 7 on a new XPS15 with an i7 6700hq without any trouble. And there are also numerous people using 7 on laptops with KabyLake CPU.. So I think won’t run into any trouble using 7 in the foreseeable future.

  30. Henk van Setten said on January 15, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I’m gradually moving to laptops with Linux Mint, but for software compatibility reasons I still cannot do without Windows on my desktop PCs. So unless the hardware breaks down, my desktop PCs will keep running Windows 8.1 for at least the next six years.

    One related thought:

    Right now, many tech blogs are already treating Windows 7 / 8.1 like a thing of the past (that is, mainly forgetting about those systems). Microsoft might like this attitude, but if you look at real life, it’s plain wrong. A minority of people is using Windows 10 today — 7 / 8.1 users may well remain the larger group for some years to come.

    Considering this, user blogs (including Ghacks) should keep offering much more practical tweaking tips etc. specifically for Windows 7 and 8.1, instead of offering mainly Windows 10 usage tips like they do now.

    1. T J said on January 15, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      “A minority of people is using Windows 10 today — 7 / 8.1 users may well remain the larger group for some years to come. Considering this, user blogs (including Ghacks) should keep offering much more practical tweaking tips etc. specifically for Windows 7 and 8.1, instead of offering mainly Windows 10 usage tips like they do now.”

      I agree with you 100 %, Henk.

  31. Clairvaux said on January 15, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Three years is a very short period of time. Obviously people have lost some sense of perspective. When I buy something, I intend it to live for decades, that’s twenty or thirty years at least. Planned obsolescence does not change this.

  32. Anonymous said on January 15, 2017 at 11:43 am

    “Microsoft’s press release paints a grim picture”
    If you are a regular here on Ghacks, or on other tech sites, or everywhere all over the world, you already know how the “picture” of Windows 10 is great.

    “highlighting that Windows 7 is the cause for high operating costs”
    If you are a regular here on Ghacks, or on other tech sites, you are probably wondering how much this new disastrous “picture” is going to cost to Microsoft, to PC vendors etc.

    “that Windows 7 is susceptible for malware attacks causing a reduction in work time, and the cause for an increase in support requests.”
    If you are a regular here on Ghacks, or on other tech sites, and your combat is each day to stop Microsoft to harass you, you have nothing to learn about nagware, malware, etc.

    Please stop calling Windows 10 an “OS”, call it an “OS as a “grim” service”.

  33. 420 said on January 15, 2017 at 10:51 am

    windows 7 pro sp1, wsus offline security only updates, panda free and tinywall works fine for my one winbox, sure you dont get dx12 but in my mind totally worth it to not have all the drama of win 10 atleast for 3 more years then I guess linux only unless microsoft pulls a 180. Oh and you need to go through the group policy editor to turn off a few things too.

  34. Lincoln said on January 15, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Behold, Windows 10 is taking off and will become the world’s most popular in almost no time at all.

    1. Gary D said on January 15, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Well, that’s what Nadella said in 2014, 2015 AND 2016.
      Oops :)

      1. Tom Hawack said on January 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        LOs (laughing out silently) :) Ten words and you said it all, Gary D!

        A real pleasure to read us all here and notice that no one is unaware of the soap opera Microsoft is directing with a few very bad actors.

        I take the bet here that my Windows 7 will be in great shape tomorrow and for some time. The company just doesn’t know what more to invent. I wonder what the next episode will look like. Anyway, always a nice laugh, less for the scenario than for the clowns hardly managing to perform their task.

        – What do you in life?
        – Well, I work at Microsoft…
        – Oh… I’m so sorry, I couldn’t have known. Don’t worry, tomorrow is another day…. you know life is tough for many of us nowadays. Chin up!

  35. Fena said on January 15, 2017 at 10:19 am

    As many of us do not allow updates we are ok til the software developers give up on win7 then I believe many will move to a version of Linux or possibly something new that may arrive out of the blue as android did. Remember the OS called Warp. It was a good try & fun for a while. Another idea as the virtual machines are getting better perhaps we can always have win7 or similar run as a virtual tfn. They brought out many simulators that run all the old games & operating systems. About 25 years ago I was doing voice-overs for TV commercials. We had video, animation, music, sound & it all fit on a floppy disc. It was an Amiga. Remember ?

  36. Donna said on January 15, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I’m not sure I like Windows 10 at all, but 3 years is a huge period of time in terms of technologies. So it may evolve in something unpredictably great. But for now it eats my battery way faster than Windows 7 did.

  37. Bob Hill said on January 15, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I am very happy with Windows 7 SP1.
    I dislike Windows 10 for all the usual reasons.
    So I have bought an official Microsoft Windows 8.1 DVD, which I will install in late 2019 (shortly before Windows 7 SP1 support ends). For me, Windows 8.1 is a lesser evil than Windows 10, and it will keep me going for another three years, until 2023.01.10.
    After that, who knows what might be available? What hardware will I have then? Of the offerings available now (six years before the fact!), I would tend towards a rolling-release Linux distribution, such as Arch Linux (which I already keep installed and maintained for occasional use), or OpenSUSE Tumbleweed.

    1. T J said on January 15, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      This is a typical MS ploy which is designed to sow Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt ( FUD ) in the minds of Win 7 users.
      Why ? Because Win 10 installs have flat lined and Senior staff at MS are panicking.

      Like Tom Hawack, I have not installed Win 7 “security” or recommended / optional updates since July 2016.
      Amazingly, despite doom laden warnings from MS about the OS becoming unstable and vulnerable to hack attacks, with good quality AV and anti-malware software installed Win 7 is still running virus and malware free.

      Mind you, I have wrapped my Laptop in tin foil and I do wear a tin foil hat when I’m using it !! :))

      1. Dave said on January 16, 2017 at 11:29 pm

        This is a brilliant comment. Why July 2016 though?

      2. Dilandu said on January 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm

        On the other hand, people don’t know when their computer has been compromised and is now part of a botnet. (OS agnostic sentence)

      3. lehnerus2000 said on January 16, 2017 at 3:16 am

        They said the same things about XP.

        I’m still waiting for “XP Armageddon” to arrive (it’s been > 2 years now).

    2. Dave said on January 15, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      I have a Windows 8 DVD ready to install too. I might do it sooner rather than later though, as 8.1 has some decent improvements over 7.

      This article doesn’t tell the full story though. I’m sure MS will release updates for Windows 7 Embedded (or whatever it’s called) than can be installed on regular Windows 7 by tweaking a registry key and then using a tool like WSUS.

      I might even seek out a retail copy of Windows 8.1 Embedded just in case.

    3. Pants said on January 15, 2017 at 10:04 am

      One of the other aspects to take into consideration, is what will MS push to Windows 7 and 8.1 in that time period. & is quite different, but AFAIK, a lot of 8 architecture is the same, and Windows 10 features (especially those that allow MS monetisation/knowledge/leverage) will roll down .. you know .. in bundled updates you can’t opt out of. Whatever direction 10 takes, expect 8 to incur a lot of the crap as well.

      1. Aca said on April 22, 2017 at 2:49 pm

        ” www January 17, 2017 at 11:28 am #

        On 8.1 you still have a choice as well. Just turn off automatic updates and use WSUS or go to various websites like and do it manually.”

        Manually? Hahahaa. That is almost the same as Win7 without updates. I do not have time to update it manually.

      2. www said on January 17, 2017 at 11:28 am

        On 8.1 you still have a choice as well. Just turn off automatic updates and use WSUS or go to various websites like and do it manually.

      3. HopTzop said on January 16, 2017 at 8:40 am

        At least on 7 I’ll have the option to choose if I install those updates or not.

  38. Tom Hawack said on January 15, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Wait and see, that’s how I consider the Windows 10 option. Because Win10 is no more than an option as far as I”m concerned. No hurry. The OS was delivered 18 months ago. How will it evolve within the next 3 years I have no idea. If it ever gets to run smoothly and if its privacy issues appear to be seriously taken into consideration by Microsoft then I’ll start viewing the upgrade as a possibility.

    The end of win7′ life-cycle in perspective is not a problem when it comes to Windows Updates since I’ve stopped all updates last October 2016. But should the PC start coughing or appear to no longer support latest drivers and software (I’d be surprised on the short-medium term, I rather believe the market is on a slow-down demand) then I’d advance the switch to a new OS. That will be either Linux either Win10. I dislike to close doors (and Windows!) in a definitive manner but, as I perceive Win10 eighteen months after its launch I don’t believe Cortana is likely to hear me sing “O Sole Mio” !!

    1. Mikhoul said on January 16, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      After Win 7 for me it will be Win 8.1 and Linux after or at same time than Win 8.1

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