Why it is dangerous to use old versions of Windows?

And also why it is not necessary to postpone Windows 10 updates.

Computer is not the thing, which is often changing. If the smartphone has an average service life of two or three years, then the PC is usually for about five years, after which it requires hardware upgrades to increase speed. With components of advanced levels, acceptable speed can be maintained and longer - more than ten years. This is a long time, so part of the users is in no hurry to upgrade the hardware component of the computer. Software, by the way, too.

A study conducted by Kaspersky showed that in the spring of 2021, 22% of Windows users continue to use the old Windows 7 OS released in 2009. Unfortunately, in everyday life there is still an opinion that in normally functioning The computer is better than once again: it works - and okay. But if iron and truth can not touch for several years in a row, then the programs should be updated immediately as soon as the latest version leaves.

In this article we will tell you why it is dangerous to use obsolete versions of Windows.

Old Windows versions do not receive updates

Many users, including the author of this article, feed a special love for Windows 7 and Windows XP. But if I find out to plunge into the past and run them on the computer, I will try to prohibit this system to enter the Internet.

The problem is not even that the outdated versions of Windows are not capable of correctly running modern software. Real trouble in another: their validity period has already expired, Microsoft has ceased their support. In other words, "seven" and XP are overdue products.

To be more accurate, then the validity of Windows XP ended in 2014, Windows Vista - in 2017, and Windows 7 - in 2020. Not far from the end of support for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. For them, this moment will come in 2023 and 2025, respectively (by the way, the main support for Windows 8.1 stopped at the beginning of 2018).

What does this mean in practice? And the fact that if there is no previously unknown vulnerability in the Windows XP security service, then there will be no updates to produce Microsoft. 8.1 and the "dozen" will also face this problem in the next few years. And since the developers of Trojans and Viruses mercilessly exploit any ways of infection, then all users of the specified systems will be in the risk area.

However, occasionally there are cases when Microsoft retreats from its own rules: if the vulnerability is a particularly serious threat. So in 2018, security patches against Meltdown and Spectre threats were released for Windows XP. But these are exceptional situations, in all other cases Microsoft treats XP and Windows 7 as obsolete environments and no longer spends energy on their maintenance.

Microsoft is trying its best to convince users to upgrade to new versions of Windows, but according to statistics, almost a quarter of users resist this. There are ways to prolong a secure existence on an old system, such as offsetting an outdated protection service with an antivirus product. However, this solution is only suitable as a temporary measure, and should be resorted to only as a last resort.

An outdated version of Windows can cause a lot of problems with your computer. Driver errors, incorrect behavior of the browser and programs - all this may be due to the fact that the system on the computer has not been updated for a long time.

The latest version of Chrome that runs successfully on Windows XP is #49, and the most recent version available today is Chrome 94. Can you imagine the gap between the two? functionality?

The message is clear: if your computer is still running an older version of Windows, you have good reason to consider upgrading to a more modern version.

What about corporate PCs?

With home computers, everything is more or less clear: the responsibility for updating lies on the shoulders of the user. But there are still employees of organizations whose work computers belong to the corporate network: they themselves have no right to make changes to the system. How to be it? Microsoft is aware that in this environment it is difficult to distribute system updates, so it gives users more freedom.

But even this freedom has a limit.

As for Windows 7, updates are still available for specialized editions of this OS. We are talking about builds such as Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise. Until January 10, 2023, updates to them will be distributed through PC and laptop manufacturers. Windows Embedded Standard 7 will be supported until October 10, 2023, and Windows Embedded POSReady 7 until 2024.

For Windows XP, extended support has ended. The mainstream OS was deprecated in 2014. Some enterprise editions, such as Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 based on Windows XP Professional, were updated through 2019.

At the time of this writing, support for all editions of Windows XP has been completely discontinued.

If briefly, then the corporate modifications of Windows 7 Microsoft also pays attention, but in the very near future it is necessary to prepare for the transition above. Users of all versions of Windows XP should update the OS for any possibility.

New Windows versions are compatible with old software. Its launching on Windows 10 or Windows 11 will most likely cause any conflicts.

If there is no possibility to update the system in the near future, then the maintenance of the computer can be supported using antivirus (antivirus is an absolute need for any system outside depending on its validity period). However, it will not be considered a full-fledged protection, and the transition to the new version of Windows is sooner or later to do.

Alternative update methods for old PCs

There are conditions under which users do not want to be updated to Windows 10. More Total updates are postponed on computers with very old glands, which is not able to run Windows 10 at normal speed. Also not everyone like Microsoft's innovation.

All these arguments can be understood, but they are still not good reasons for the old OS. In fact, they give reason to think about the transition to an alternative operating system.

Previously, Microsoft offered modifications for outdated computers. Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCS for PCs with low-performance equipment supported until 2014, as the usual Windows XP. She then changed Windows Thin PC, a lightweight version of Windows 7, the support of which ended in October 2021.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has no topical proposals for the same nature. But here numerous Linux distributions come to the rescue. Some of them are specifically developed under computers with weak system characteristics. Their functionality is simplified, and the main emphasis is made on speed, so they are perfectly laid with morally obsolete iron.

Among these distributions there are Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Arch Linux and Zorin OS. There are others. On the Internet, the mass of information about Linux lightweight assemblies and their system requirements.

If the computer requires only the Internet and Android applications, it makes sense to install one of the CHROME OS variations, for example, CloudReady or Fydeos from Neverware. Both assemblies are based on the last version of the Chromium OS (open source project, which serves as the basis for Chrome OS), they are sharpened on the Internet and differ in low-demanding system resources.

What will happen if you stay on Windows 10 after the release of Windows 11?

Go to Windows 11 immediately after its release is not at all. The "dozen" will not lose their support so far, so some time can remain on it.

In addition, Microsoft plans have a version of Windows 10 21H2 versions specifically for those computers whose characteristics do not meet the requests of Windows 11. The update will be distributed as an ordinary update, but only affects users with compatible PCs.

With all this, you should not forget that the Windows 10 life cycle is not infinite. Ultimately, Microsoft plans to translate all users to new OS, which means that everything that was said above, sooner or later will affect everyone.

Support for all Windows 10 editions will be discontinued October 14, 2025. Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC will be available until 2029. In general, approximately four years remains to come true with the need to update.

What will happen after the release of 21H2, whether Microsoft plans other similar updates, is still unknown. The release of 22H1 or 22H2 is not excluded, perhaps in the form of minor updates, but not earlier than 2025.

For those who remain on Windows 10, summarize: at the moment with your system, everything is in order, but in the next few years the update issue will have to be addressed.

Refuse the use of irrelevant

We talked about the main arguments against the old versions of Windows. System updates are annoyed - this is a fact. They jump out at the wrong time. But they have a need, because it is the key to safe work on the Internet, protecting personal files from potential threats.

The operating system without supporting the manufacturer is not able to ensure the security of data.

Ultimately the decision remains for you. Operating systems acquire new features, work at a computer is becoming increasingly demanding for security and confidentiality. But if someone needs to urgently update to fresh windows, it is someone who still sits on Windows 7 and lower versions.