I’ve been at South Pole for almost two months now, so I’m overdue
Windows 7 reaches end of life (EOL) tomorrow, January 14th, 2020. If you continue using Windows 7 after that you are inviting hackers to take your data. EOL means that Windows 7 will stop receiving any security updates, and dedicated tech support will stop. Anything still running Windows 7 tomorrow, could potentially become a security risk.
EOL has been on people’s minds for years now, all over the internet people are debating what the best thing to do will be. Yet, since people are lazy, and Windows 7 was great, there are still thousands upon thousands of computers running Windows 7 who don’t know.
If you haven’t bought a new PC since Windows 10 came out, you’re likely still on Windows 7. If you chose a Windows OS for your kiosk or for a POS device, you’re almost certainly on Windows 7. And if you still hate Windows 10 as much as everyone did in the beginning, you’re probably still on Windows 7 or switched to something else a long time ago.
What are your options?
You can either switch to another operating system, purchase a new computer with Windows 10 on it, or burn money paying Microsoft to continue sending you updates.
The only option you really have that doesn’t include spending a heap of money is to switch to another operating system. If you hate Windows 10 you probably want to try something new anyway. And if you run Windows 7 on a device that isn’t a PC, you’re probably just looking to make sure your device keeps working with the least amount of hassle and the least amount of downtime.
What is the solution?
Ubuntu is the solution, plain and simple. Ubuntu is an open-source Linux based operating system that is free, accessible all over the world, able to be installed over and over again from a USB stick, onto any computer or device, and is built to be secure. Ubuntu is not the only operating system that you could chose as a replacement, but for all of the benefits I’m about to talk about and for people switching from Windows for the first time, the internet agrees, Ubuntu is the best place to start.
Most of the things you do with Windows 7, you can do on Ubuntu and then some. For the most common user all the essentials are still there. You can search the web, you can play music, you can watch movies, you can communicate with your friends, you can download new apps, and so on and so on. All from the big fancy apps you’re used to or from smaller, lesser known apps that are only available on Linux. You can try so many more new things, for free.
The Linux software store and the snaps store are both filled with thousands of applications from big organisations, small companies and individual developers just waiting for you to try out. One of my favourite things to do on Ubuntu is to go hunting for a a couple of new apps every week made by a developer who sees it as a passion project and to user test it for them. Give the game a spin, try out their file manager system or whatever it might be.
And what comes with community is awesome people. Like any open-source community, Ubuntu’s is full of passionate people. People who do things that aren’t computing or software engineers, but who still contribute to the community. My absolute favourite is @sylvia_ritter who creates the most amazing art work for each Ubuntu release. There are always new people contributing new things, what will you do?
The only thing that doesn’t yet stand up is gaming. But most folk do that online or on a console anyway. And most folk doing that will be able to jump through the hoops necessary on Ubuntu to get it running.
But going back to the reason you’re switching, the security risk Windows 7 now presents. Let’s end with how Ubuntu mitigates that. Ubuntu is built to be secure. As well as awesome art and niche apps, community means there are people working on securing and improving the operating system 24/7. Security updates are received live without the need to restart your machine, and applications are packaged in such a way that the attack surface is minimised and the malware and viruses you see on Windows can’t break through .
Most of all, Ubuntu is built for you. It’s crowd sourced and should you have problems or bugs or ideas to improve your experience, you simply let the developers know. There’s always someone in a forum or message board somewhere who can take your comments and move them up.
If I’ve convinced you or you want to learn more, head over to the Ubuntu website. There’s a lot more going on than I’ve mentioned here, but that can wait, first things first, get off Windows 7!