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Why it's time to leave Windows 7 behind

There are no two ways about it: Windows 7 is dying, and fairly soon. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will stop issuing security updates for their best-selling operating system. Some users remain defiant: They fail to see any reason to migrate to a newer system. This is a dangerous attitude: By holding on to Windows 7, they don't just risk their own safety, but also the security of others.

The following article will explain what to expect when Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, why it's a bad idea to stick with a dead horse, and propose viable migration options for users unwilling to upgrade to Windows 10. In any case, it's high time to get ready: January of 2020 is closing in fast.

"It's dead, Jim."

Let's clear up a common misunderstanding first. When Microsoft first warned users that extended support for Windows 7 would end in January of 2020, some reacted with boasts and derision: "Why should this faze me? I've never contacted Microsoft for support, anyway!" However, Microsoft has a different concept of "support."

For Microsoft, "support" means supplying their software or operating system (OS) with updates to fix issues. Windows 7 is already on "extended support;" mainstream support expired five years ago. Extended support means that Windows 7 is only receiving critical security fixes.

At the beginning of 2020, even this tenuous life line will be cut. From that date onward, home and small-business users will be cut off from Windows 7 security patches. Microsoft has done this before, most notably with Windows XP.

Extended support for Windows XP ended in 2014. Since then, Microsoft has issued only three critical patches for Windows XP. Anti-virus vendors gradually phased Windows XP support over the following months; the developers of most other applications followed suit.

Ironically, Microsoft's critical fixes for newer Windows versions quickly became a security problem for Windows XP users. Malware developers analyzed these fixes to find out which issues they addressed. Then they checked whether Windows XP shared the same weakness and wrote malware to exploit it, safe in the knowledge that Windows XP users would not be protected from their attacks. This is likely to repeat itself with Windows 7.

Get ready for change

Even though Windows 7 is still supported until January, affected users should start planning their migration today – or yesterday. Most corporate users already have a strategy in place: If you are still using a Windows 7 machine at work, consult your IT department for their migration schedule.

Home users need to make sure that they have switched away from Windows 7 well before the cut-off date. Anti-virus protection can mitigate the dangers, but there is no guarantee that they will be able to block low-level attacks. Extreme measures can reduce the attack surface, such as disconnecting Windows 7 machines from all networks or setting up hardware firewalls with extreme filtering rules. However, this approach is both cumbersome and risky – one slip-up can make all efforts futile.

Some corporate customers may not be able to move away from Windows 7 due to legacy hardware or software. This situation affects hospitals and similar institutions with highly-specialized equipment. Some choose to buy extended support from Microsoft, supplying them with exclusive security patches – at prices far beyond the reach of home users and small-business owners.

Where to move to

Microsoft suggests Windows 10 as the obvious upgrade path. In spite of what Microsoft has claimed in the past, free in-place upgrades are still possible (or at least they were when this article was written) using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

However, Windows 10 is far from being the only option. Another choice is to move away from Windows altogether, to an alternative operating system such as macOS or Linux. Some users may even decide to ditch desktop computing altogether and move to a mobile device running Android. Good news for SoftMaker customers: SoftMaker Office is available for all the aforementioned platforms.

Windows 8.1 is a terrible choice to migrate to. True, it does not follow the controversial "OS as a service" approach Microsoft introduced with Windows 10. However, its days are already marked: Extended support for Windows 8.1 ends in January of 2023, meaning that three years down the road, you will again stand at the same crossroads.

How to decide

To decide on your migration path, you should first take stock of your current computing habits. Try answering the following questions on a notepad:

  1. For what purposes do I mainly use my computer?
  2. What applications do I use most frequently?
  3. Which applications do I absolutely depend upon?
  4. Which of my most-used applications are available for other operating systems?

Special consideration needs to be given to commercial applications. Set up a simple spreadsheet to determine how much it will cost you to switch to a new operating system: In the first column, list the hardware and software you will require. In the second column, enter the cost for every item and add it all up. Now you can make an educated decision on how to continue.

Vendors who publish their software for multiple platforms often offer cross-platform licenses. Others offer "crossgrades", i.e. special rebates for customers who wish to switch to a different operating system. SoftMaker offers crossgrades for SoftMaker Office 2018 users migrating to macOS or Linux. The subscription version of SoftMaker Office, SoftMaker Office NX, is an operating-system neutral license which can be used across all three desktop operating systems.

The remaining question is how to migrate essential user data such as documents, photos, e-mails, contacts and bookmarks. This issue will be addressed in a future article.


Comments

Pepe Ginebrita

2019-11-10 04:29

How much fluff in this comments!
Astonished how much garbage is on many people's mind.
I have a friend who sticks to WXP-SP3 and he has had so many issues, that I stopped helping him.
Now he got another one with W7 and I told him that I refuse to help, when he soon will be again in trouble.
DOS efficient? I remember routing simple PCBs with Orcad on DOS at work! I had to put a sign to avoid anyone touching my "workstation"! Many times it crashed and I had to start over again.

Robert L

2019-10-06 19:36

I get the sense that it's actually the opposite for Windows 7. Windows 10 is going right downhill because of the same business practices that always get Microsoft in trouble. They think by making windows 10 less compatible, they can get you to use more of their less well constructed programs... Like Games for Windows Live, which has always been a steaming hot cup of garbage.

If Microsoft stops Updating Windows 7, people who don't feel like switching to Linux will rise up and keep it going, just so they don't have some crappy and completely unintuitive Windows 8 or the idiot spawn, Windows 10, which is designed to break non Microsoft programs, especially competing programs .

Microsoft keeps thinking it wants Apple customers. Sure, it looks great having smug idiots who will pay 900 dollars for a monitor stand... At first. Then you realize that nobody sensible is going to work or play on a computer like that. At most, you win over someone who wants to hide pictures on their computer to blackmail a Democrat.

I don't need Apps. Those are for children and drunks at TGI Fridays. I am an adult. I use programs that are made by professionals for professionals. Even when I am playing a computer game. Take that touch screen and shove it in the wastebin next to my shattered dreams of VR. We don't need it if it's gonna be micromanaged run by out of touch tech moguls.

Freddie

2019-08-29 08:24

Support - in Microsoft terminology, means practically nothing. Consequently, being 'out of support' really doesn't matter. Ask a simple question; if so many patches are really required for an operating system, then how bad was it when first issued? This begs the question of what these 'patches' are actually doing. If it ain't broke, dont fix it. We don't need this sort of scaremongering.

Reziac

2019-07-15 14:16

Completely lost in this discussion is: where exactly do exploits come from? as is obvious from the many bugs in malware, the hackers who create malware are not genius programmers, and Windows source code is not available to the public. So how do they find vulnerabilities to exploit?

The answer is: BY REVERSE-ENGINEERING THE PATCHES, then targeting machines that are slow to apply 'em. This makes for a small target, which anyone with a decompiler and one of the automated malware-creation engines can attack -- after all the patch tells you exactly what it fixes, so you know precisely where to look for the hole!

(The actual number of PCs infected by malware is very low; according to one security site, about 0.4% -- but 0.4% of several billion machines is still a lot of targets.)

Thus, no more patches means no more new vulnerabilities discovered by the average hacker. So as soon as "support" ends -- newly-discovered attack vectors become rare to nonexistent. (When did you last hear of an attack on Win98? or one that targets XP, but doesn't *also* target current Windows?)

Which is why in fact the very old OS is actually LESS likely to be infected by the latest and greatest exploit -- the current hook simply isn't there to attack. In rare cases an exploit targets something that hasn't changed since the mists of time (and therefore affects ALL versions of Windows) and that's generally when Microsoft issues a post-support patch.

Use a good router/modem with a competent firewall, enable Windows' own firewall, use a good HOSTS file (such as from here: winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm ) and don't do stupid things online -- which is advice everyone should heed regardless of their OS -- and frankly it does not matter which version of Windows you're using, nor whether it's still "supported".

Mike

2019-07-10 16:51

Leave it to Microsoft to fix what isn't broke. I love Windows 7, and XP. Microsoft's products are too expensive. That's why I bought this Soft Maker product at Wal-Mart.

Most of the comments I read, I didn't understand, So I'm no wizard when it comes to
computers and understanding the language.

It's too bad someone doesn't offer a simple program for those of us who just want to check
the news and weather, do some research, or send and receive e-mails, on line.

Marlene

2019-07-11 19:26

When they first came out with windows 10, I downloaded it and tried it. I didn't care for it at all! I immediately went back to Windows 7. If they get rid of windows 7, they are going to have lots of
angry customers.

Joel Foucault

2019-07-13 23:02

Ever since Microsoft imploded on their Vista OS -please read destroyed its real core functionalities during development- the world has seen Microsoft deliver technologies in piecemeal fashion. How? By introducing a factual fail between the system and DirectX -games were the money back in the days- some PnP functionalities were completely annihilated (PnP is not plug and play here but refers to Infinite Loops theory). Some new hardware is missing and taking time to develop which is putting enormous pressure on hardware manufacturers.
I'll cut this here by saying Windows 7 was Microsoft's humble redeeming. Every single OS from Windows 8 onward is a dishonesty for the reasons explained above.
It's never enough money one would find....
Don't believe me I guess....

BOYNTONBAKER

2019-07-02 16:53

i WILL STAY WITH win 7 & ALSO Linux (XUBUNTU) which I am learning. At 83 years old I don't have to constantly upgrade.. I have had more grief with the windows fixes corrupting my system too many times.
I have 3 machines & they run well , especially since I changed over to SSD's on each.

MCris

2019-07-07 16:56

Sure, you should install a current anti-virus instead of MS' one, the firewall in place and what updates, what support? By the way Win10 is spyware, if you didn't know. With the latest "updates" probably Win7 too. So I would do a fresh install and use Linux if no Windows program needed (for which there is also Wine in Linux usually).

Percy Phelps

2019-08-27 00:46

How the hell can you use Linux?? Linux is a nerds "toy" incapable of running even the most basic windows applications reliably - no Windows programmes? There are Windows programmes and then there is total shitware - there IS no choice.

Oh really

2019-08-27 19:06

Yes it doesnt run windows applications natively because it isn't windows how observant of you.
Most of the main application you could want, office tools, video editing, music, video, web, developing tools, graphic design tools are all available on linux.
Many games on steam are compatible and reliable applications do exist to let you run many .exe files if a very specific app isnt available on linux.
Even most games that dont natively work do run with tools like lutris, wine.

Melvin Donald

2019-07-02 16:07

If you still have Windows 98 controlling a milling-machine, how old (and near to failure) is the system's disk-drive? Its probably more than 10 years old -- Windows 98 achieved its "sunset" around 2008. Ouch, if your disk-drive ever fails, and your business is depending on that computer.

If your computer is still running Windows XP, its disk-drive was manufactured before 2014. Ouch, again.

I think that your best "business continuation" plan is to run something like VMWARE under Windows 10 running on modern hardware, with "mirrored-RAID" disk-drives, for redundancy. Migrate your antique operating-system and milling-machine's software into a virtual machine. Migrate now, when there is no "panic", and sleep soundly, knowing that your business is "future-proof".

Joe

2019-07-03 08:28

What's the big deal upgrading a hard-drive? Generally at worst, you may need a SATA-PATA converter for a few bucks. Done this many times.

Depending on your BIOS age, a complication may be lack of LBA 48 support (only relevant if you want to use more than 128GB), or for really, really ancient hardware, lack of Extended Int 13 support (without which, a drive larger than 32GB will hang the machine).

vjbasil

2019-07-02 15:12

This is no issue at all in my opinion:

I run 1 computer with XP
2 pc's + 2 laptops with Vista
3 pc and a laptop with windows 7
1 pc and 3 laptops with windows 10

The idea that you allways need the newest is totally crazy; some of my software just runs best on the older XP.
Last week I switched this XP machine on, just to check what was on it and if there was a need to copy some old files to an external drive and maybe get rid of this 13 year old computer.

I was surprised how fast and smooth everything worked on this antique beast!

If you just use a machine for some word processing / spreadsheet etc, why would you need something else than this reliable windows xp. Besides: security would only be an issue when online and while this old desktop does not have wifi build in and I do not connect the ethernet: security is no issue at all!! Very very safe!!
Then I use several windows 7 pc's because certain administrative software does not work on win 10.
Also a win7 PC for a music system ( very heavy investment 5 years ago ) the hardware connected to this pc does not have win 10 drivers. It would be crazy to throw away such a fantastic and expensive music production system ( 8k €...) just because they want you to switch operating system.

windows 10 works fine only when installed from scratch on ssd.
Several win8 pc / laptopswere auto upgraded to win10 and after that they became slower each day up to the point they became totally useless! ( startup time > 20 minutes )
So for the I drastically removed the original harddrives, put in a 500 Gb SSD ( crucial ) installed win 10 from scratch ( and immediately made a 100% clone of this SSD that is stored away) this works fantastic: startup time 10 seconds. BUT: only to reinstall all my valuable software is a nightmare that still continues.

The biggest mistake in the whole concept of windows is, of course, the registry. This crazy system prohibits just dragging software onto your drive. This used to be the case in the early days of "home" computers in the eighties: your whole system, your programs and your data all on one floppy disk!
Super fast, super efficient, super safe: when done with one program: floppy out and another floppy in.

The only thing that comes close is "portable software" this can be run from a USB stick without any installation on your pc / laptop.

I will stick to several systems and I wish even that for microsoft and the likes of them is would be forbidden
to automatically install updates that I do not want. I have had on several occasions that my computer work was rudely interupted even by a restart because of these "updates".

Mr G. H. Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B.

2019-07-08 11:35

I agree with vjbasil as I keep my old computers, even a 3.1 earlier model albeit they are not used on the internet. When someone provide me with a old floppy disk or other smaller disk I can still read them. That is why I keep my old computers. Only the computers used on the internet needs to be updated all the time but spare computers can be used. Most of my work is writings in document format and for that every computer does fine. I used to record the first time I used a floppy disk on a computer. then one day I discovered I had a virus. Tracking back I discovered it was from an official floppy disk that installed a program. While the computer refused to accept a anti virus disk a friend in computers gave me (albeit he advised to just dump the computer) I then simply put it in parts on the computer and then reassembled it on the computer. It then cleaned the computer bar the memory. So I switched the computer off and the memory was cleared by this. My friend then discovering how I had gotten around it thanked me for this as his company used to advise its customers to dispose of the computers once infected. Shame the anti virus programs no longer allow for this kind of self inventing work.

Gjergji Kokushta

2019-07-02 13:32

As users we bonded by whatever is served for better or worse. Make peacewwith Microsoft and most important with yourself. Windows 7 is dead. Nothing you can do about it. To keep using Windows one must upgrade. The only issue I see, is hardware and software. Migration might require hardware upgrade or a new machine. If you don't want Windows - one got only two choices: Mac or Linux - that's it. If one chooses Linux, small issues with hardware support but mostly the issue will be software related. Choosing Mac - new machine and hopefully find the software compatibity. My point is - make up your mind and choose what is best for you. No need for such big noise!

George Corrigan

2019-07-02 19:10

I have Win 7 running on a desktop, my wife has Win 10 running on a laptop. Except for the form factor, "horsepower"-wise, both boxes are pretty much identical; 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Gigabit ethernet. We both use the same productivity software, default browser, and email client. The one major difference is I use AVG, she has Avast.
At least three times a week, something goes awry with her OS.
My win 7 box? Runs like a top -- the only time it gets rebooted is when a software or OS upgrade requires it.

Oh, and before I got this desktop, I had win 10 (upgraded from 8.1) on a laptop. I was so caught up with the "Whew! Thank heaven Windows 8.x is gone!" euphoria, I never noticed how bad Windows 10 was until hardware failure led me to buy the refurbished desktop I'm using now. Minimal work-arounds, no silly MS-generated hoops to jump through just to make things work. It was like a breath of fresh air!

And yes, I used classic shell.

Matthew

2019-07-02 13:03

Yeah, I am going to stick with Windows 7 after the 2020 finish expiration date. I have seen other peoples comments about Windows 10 and it seems to me that Windows 10 isn't all that it is cracked up to be. I will keep using my laptop as long it will take. Hopefully the anti virus software people like Comodo, Windows Defender and Google Chrome will continue to use Windows 7 after the 2020 stop year for Win 7.

Let me ask this question: Say from now in the next 10 years will Microsoft make another Windows then having Windows 10 on your devices, will Microsoft then end Windows 10?, if this makes sense.

This is a option that Microsoft could have if people are wanting to use their software. Have a software called "Microsoft Windows Forever", so you won't need to say go through the number of "windows" like Windows 7, 10, etc

Matt

Jon Savory

2019-07-07 01:26

Microsoft actually released a "Microsoft Windows Forever" fairly recently. I believe they actually call it Windows 10. Apparently as long as you keep paying, they keep upgrading and supporting.

Get your credit cards ready!

Adams-ITConsulting

2019-07-02 12:24

The coming demise of Win 7 Pro is generating much interest in Linux, my specially. Given the fact more and more line-of- business applications are web based the need for the complexity of Windows is diminishing. Even the gaming world is moving to Linux, PoP OS from System76 has made it easy to install Windows based games on Linux. When I show prospects Linux running on laptops they are taken back by the richness of applications available and the stability. Mint is an excellent choice for those moving from Win 7.

ED LONG

2019-07-02 13:37

Been wanting to move to Mint for a long time. Hate Win10 with everything in me. The forced restarts after the forced updates make me insane. The only thing that has been keeping me from jumping sooner was getting everything into the cloud. Now it appears even my AutoCAD Fusion 360 is browser based, still confirming, then I will move into the Linux Utopia. Was never sure which flavor of Linux to go with but you comment on Mint is helpful to me. I live my life on the computer but not any kind of developer or anything so I have to be careful when I tear into things but abandoning Win10 is not an option. That data harvesting criminalware wants to be a living entity in our lives. The only thing lacking, then they will be getting everything, is a USB rectal thermometer.

Tom Davis

2019-07-03 07:16

Linux Mint provides easier upgrades than is available under Windows. There are Microsoft Office compatible software available for Linux such as Softmaker Office and so on. Many other software suppliers have Linux compatible software, and best of all a great deal of free software s readily available on Linux Mint. Because a number of programming languages are readily available for Linux Mint, software developers can convert software written in C or C++ or Delphi to run on Linux.

Jon Savory

2019-07-07 01:29

Yes, once you get yourself onto Linux Mint you'll be free of the "data harvesting criminalware." You will have entered the promised land of web-based applications that are only supported on Google Chrome and you'll be living free... wait, darn... tell me again about this "data harvesting criminalware" concept?

stephen Pickersgill

2019-07-02 10:49

Everybody is aware that new and improved OS are been developed all the time going back in the day businesses ran more than efficiently using the old DOS system. Ability to write programs specifically for that companies purpose or to operate industrial machines was the norm. Then windows 1 to 3.1 was introduced and next news computers hit the public market. OS were designed to allow a simpler way to manipulate every function of a computer and that continued with every OS until windows NT 3.1 which in 1993 introduced the NTFS file system to replace the traditional File Allocation Table (FAT) from this point on windows OS focused more on the graphical format than the programmable older versions. Its nice to keep up to date with the latest systems all singing and dancing like windows 10 but its literally killing our countries businesses.
How? you may say, let me explain like this pick up an old reliable piece of software lets say MAGIX music studio 3.0 which was one of the best music mixers and recording studio software packs around, it will not run on any OS after windows NT and 95 so what happens UPDATE out with the old efficient easy to use best software and in with the new replacement but not just one program three new one`s none of which are as simple or efficient as the original and cost to do the same job a whole lot more. So what`s the big deal lets now look at industry an old milling machine which multi functions make it unique runs on an efficient DOS system, that programming format to cut helical gears to precision can not be upgraded which means to run a system diagnostics a computer has to have windows 98 or before. Problem is after window updated trying to get a windows 98 OS to work on a modern pc hold a nightmare of problems. Its nice to have the knowledge that when you buy something you can always use it regardless of any future software which follows unfortunately the whole MS world since registering takes that ownership rights away, if you like windows 7 or vista why should you be told you can no longer instal and use it because the company has windows 10. Old ways if you bought windows 3.1 you can still use it today but new ways if you buy windows 10 you don`t know how long you get to use it before it becomes like windows 7 obsolete.

Béla.

2019-07-02 09:48

The W 10 is a dead end. I do not need it.

Alister

2019-07-02 06:16

> To decide on your migration path, you should first take stock of your current computing habits. Try answering the following questions on a notepad...

Migrating to Windows 10 in particular has other implications that people really need to understand, especially if they have an older or lower spec computer or don't have good internet. The updates make many machines pretty much unusable i.e. the updates are huge, the computer really bogs down every time it tries to install one (I think having an ssd makes a huge difference), the updates are forced, and they frequently fail... and are attempted over and over again.

> Just like good old Micro$oft. Make a really good OS obsolete and demand replacement with a POS product

There's a conspiracy theory that all the issues with updates that do evil things like delete your files are a deliberate attempt to get people to stop using Windows because Microsoft wants to kill it off... Personally I think a simpler explanation is just that Microsoft is monumentally incompetent.

paul

2019-07-02 06:05

we should all move away from this Microsoft crap. The problem is indeed the compatibility of software but I must now find a way around. There is no way I am moving from W7 to W10. I was already very reluctant when moving from XP to 7 and frankly I never thought there was enough reason. But now its over for MS. No f##### way.

Călin

2019-07-02 05:42

I always use the latest OS from Microsoft in conjunction with VMware Workstation Pro, where I install all other prior OS'es from Microsoft (98, XP, 7 and 8). I've made a dual boot system, Windows and Linux. I think this is the best workaround solution, it covers all scenarios a user can encounter in his work, and the most recent environment, compatible with all new hardware and security updates.

Peter Farrelly

2019-07-02 05:15

I can sympathise with all those wanting to hang onto robust reliable operating systems. I had a monster PC through the 1990s with many software worth many thousands running WIN3.11 with all sorts of devices to do particular jobs. Unfortunately, I was not earning much money from it at the time and simply could not afford to buy a new operating system. Then, my TerraTec sound card had no drivers past NT4. In 2004, I worked in a university and was using an HPLC setup with a computer running 10-year-old OS/2 perfectly well. Luckily, they did not have to replace the OS before the detector failed. They had ordered a new system so that they only lost two months of work time. My next employer had several PCs running specific systems, which had old OSs and very expensive software. These operated as standalones, unconnected to any network. I once thought Slackware would be the ideal choice for an alternative but it has gone out of favour.

Warren

2019-07-02 02:25

I have used very favorably a Windows 7 Pro 64-bit unit for 4 years. I use frequently Movie Maker & Windows DVD Maker. If I was to upgrade to Windows 10 would those two programs be left alone to migrate in with the installation? I've heard that DVD Maker was discontinued in Win 10, but would an existing application of it in Win 7 be wiped out in the upgrade? Someone who knows the answer, please
respond here. Thanks very much!

Bill Sharpe

2019-07-02 00:38

If i dump windows will I still have access to gmail? Also its extensions

Gladys H

2019-07-02 08:13

Yes, most certainly. Mind you I prefer options such as Proton Mail that don't give my data to a vast American company with avaricious tendencies towards data consumption for its advertising related arm.

Paul

2019-07-02 00:21

Windows 10 is actually a fairly good operating system. It does what Window 7 does plus more and seems to have better support for more legacy software, albeit with a bit of tweaking involved. Under the hood so to speak Win10 is not too bad.
The user interface of Win10 however is the most mutated retarded abortion imaginable! I think I can see what they were trying to do, from Windows 8 on, but for gods sake, it was a poorly thought out and badly implemented design that should never have left the drawing board, let alone entered the programmers domain. Windows has been successful as a desktop operating system and somewhat successful in the server area, what the aborted Windows 8 tried to do was pretend that Windows could make it as a tablet AND that everything from here on would be done as a Windows tablet. For obvious reasons this was an unmitigated disaster, except instead of learning form this M$ have forced the really bad parts of this abortion into the Win10 user interface, instead of winding back to the popular and successful user interface and tools of the earlier versions. There are some third party add-on tools that allow partial support in Win10 for useful interfacing and tools.

Mike

2019-07-02 12:25

Agreed Paul

Windows 10's biggest drawback is the Desktop, I downloaded a program called Classic Shell, it removes all the Tablet Garbage and gives you a clean screen, Still the side bar is pretty packed with garbage still it gives you a more manageable desktop.

Demac

2019-07-01 21:44

My Desktop has 5 HDs and among them every Windows OS version.
However, my choice for daily use is WinXP SP3.
I use Office 2003 alongside SoftMaker's Textmaker and is totally adequate for me.
I use Visual Studio 2010 for writing my software and it's flawless. On the downside a little is Outlook Express Email not getting pictures or retrieving them on the Email page unless they are attachments and my Browsers Firefox and Chrome are struggling with video playback.
i like Win7, but staying with XP for the time being. Bought a refurbished laptop recently and replaced Win10 with Win7, then another laptop but left Win10 on it only for trialling my software.
Microsoft is not going to drag me along in it's slipstream - stick with what you are comfortable with and only update with service packs. I don't have issues with viruses or hacking and have adequate protection anyway.

Juhele

2019-07-01 19:00

I already moved my home PCs to linux - Kubuntu - so no problem there. I still keep Windows 7 license for a virtual machine for possible running of some Win-only aps.

Luckily Softmaker Office has native linux edition and FlexiPDF seems to run OK using Wine in linux.

I remember that Softmaker wanted to create a linux version of FlexiPDF but was probably cancelled as I did not get any news and finally decided to try the Windows version via Wine which luckily worked.

Floyd

2019-07-01 18:35

I run Win 7-64 on 3 machines as I like dividing up the work load and avoiding file extensions from colliding. I have CAD (SolidWorks), Ecad Altium), FPGA coding (xilinx), C coding (TI) and E_Mail across the 3 machines. What flavor Linux do you suggest I use? The laptop is 32bit, 16GB.

Bill

2019-07-01 22:06

I would stick with Windows 7 it is a robust operating system. Windows 8 isn't bad either. Windows 10 is so full of spyware its a joke it evens asks you to logon so Microsoft knows exactly what you are up to. Microsoft has no positive direction they make most of their revenue from licensing. Look at their failures, Windows phone and trying to introduce an operating system which covers everything (Windows 10) with charms !!. Even their latest browser Edge is being abandoned. Keep windows 7 if you move to Linux most of your programs will not work. With windows 7 ceasing support their will be 3rd parties giving security updates because millions of people will carry on using it. I've still got Vista on one laptop that runs anything, I don't stay on the internet just use it when I need to no problems, I use Linux and by far the best operating system is Linux MX 18 continuum you can run quite a few windows programs on it I run MS Office 2010 using "Play on Linux" or "Crossover". Kubuntu is also good but not quite as reliable. I use Linux for browsing as its far safer than Windows. You will find most Linux operating systems are now 64 bit but 32 bit is still catered for. Ubuntu is very popular as its supported by Canonical but its quite boring. There ia a super Linux program called Kaos which is continually upgradeable but what a palaver trying to load anything onto it I managed Softmaker ok but softmaker basic will not run on it Linux. Manjaro is very good Ive even ran dos based programs on it. Eventually people will ditch Windows its already happening but taking time. Corporate users will carry on using it because there is hardly any option even Apple will not run many applications as Apple is Linux based. Don't worry there are millions in the same boat.. Thunderbird e-mail runs good on Linux for e-mail

Gladys H

2019-07-02 08:23

Apple base their OS on BSD not GNU/Linux. If you consider the purposes for which you use software there are GNU/Linux programmes that fulfil the same purposes so there are replacements available for almost all cases. Having a "boring" system might be considered a virtue as it does imply that there is little negative to draw attention to itself. GNU/Linux should be referred to in this form as by a long way the greater proportion of the OS is GNU (all of the "userland") and only the kernel is Linux. GNU/Linux is so configurable that one can make it appear to be very close to an Apple product or an MS product or an array of different options and all it takes is a suitable choice of interface of which there are very many.

Floyd Knapp

2019-07-01 18:29

I use Win 7 on 3 machines and on a HP laptop. I like having a machine for SolidWorks, another for Altium and another for FPGA work and C coding, internet and GP use. Keeps file extensions from clashing and better recovery and backup. All run 64bit OS, except the laptop..
What flavor Linux do you suggest. I know I will have to switch some of them.

NotANinja

2019-07-02 01:45

Hi Floyd,

not a tech ninja by any means, but am one of those pesky journos that likes to spot gaps in almost anything.

Dunno what got me started on Debian, but it may have been reading a director of the Debian board questioning 'unresolved governance issues' or similar. From there, a long walk of shame towards controversies like that of "systemd". Most of which I do not pretend to understand (that's the NotANinja bit) but bits like this I do:

"systemd defaults to Google's DNS nameservers"

A big no-no for privacy concerns.

I'm currently on Q4OS after trying Arch Linux, AntiX, Manjuro, and a few others I can't recall at the moment. Going to try Devuan next, because it is endorsed by www.dyne.org, a well respected open-source lab in Europe, and does not have systemd.

Also good for low-end and old computers: see list of Devuan alternatives derivatives here:
devuan.org/os/partners/devuan-distros

Gladys H

2019-07-02 08:37

The default is easy to change:

Install resolveconf

/etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/tail

add to the end of the file nameserver 8.8.8.8 or whatever nameserver detail you wish to use

this line will be added at the end of /run/resolvconf/resolv.conf

at boot. /etc/resolv.conf will now be a symbolic link to this file.

Another option would be to install unbound and set it to replace systemd-resolved as follows:

sudo systemctl disable systemd-resolved
sudo systemctl stop systemd-resolved
sudo systemctl enable unbound-resolvconf
sudo systemctl enable unbound

reboot

Open as root the file /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf

below [main] put this line:

dns=unbound

reboot again

Second step: If after the reboot the problem is still not solved, start the file manager as root, go to /etc, delete resolv.conf and create a new resolv.conf. Leave it empty and reboot the OS.

In Kubuntu 18.04, as an example,you can't start Dolphin as root, so you can first go to /etc and open the terminal from there, then type sudo su and press Enter to use it as root and then delete resolv.conf with the command rm resolv.conf. Then you can create a new empty file on your desktop, name it resolv.conf and open a terminal from there. Use the sudo su command to enter the root mode for the terminal and then copy the new resolv.conf from your desktop to /etc with the command cp resolv.conf /etc.

MovedOn

2019-07-01 17:45

After Windows 7 expires, my remaining laptop will be converted to Linux Mint Cinnamon 64-bit.
2 of my other 4 laptops run Linux Mint Mate 64-bit (12 years old each), while the other 2 laptops run Linux Mint Cinnamon 64-bit (4-5 years old each).
Yes, there are too many Linux distros (distributions) to think about. I have been using Linux for over 20 years and things have changed for the better. Linux Mint serves all of my PC needs, and runs flawlessly.
I would never consider a Mac OS, and Android/Chrome OS is too limited for me.
Linux Mint is super-easy to use if anyone is coming from Windows. Sure, everything takes "getting used to", even Windows in the beginning (remember?). But, Linux Mint has a "no-brainer" learning curve.
Goodbye M$ and all of your devious ways (thieves in the night).
Good luck.

Jim Major

2019-07-01 17:23

Just like good old Micro$oft. Make a really good OS obsolete and demand replacement with a POS product.

Bob

2019-07-01 16:12

I'm still loving XP, and I'm not alone. I have XP as a virtual machine on Win 7 -- in addition to several older simple machines. It isn't just the version that is a problem. But replacing the software that won't work on Win 10 with cost several thousand buck$ -- with no advantage for my tasks -- most of which don't and won't involve the Internet. I can get a cheap Win 10 device (Android) for email and Internet if need be. But there's no sense putting out money with no payback. (I'm also not big on "renting" programs like MS wants. That's even worse than leasing a car -- or 'fleecing' as Dave Ramsey calls it!

Go Google

Go Linux

Amen

Roger Swann

2019-07-01 15:23

If only there was a single version of Linux that we could be sure would stay available and stable (but still keep evolving with technology). But instead you have different versions / different GUIs and everyone saying why there version is good.... It's such a shame because it stops most commercial organisations plumping for Linux.

Martin

2019-07-01 16:39

I can understand what you mean as Linux can seem like that to Windows users, but you could argue that is exactly one of it's strengths. Different GUI's? Windows has changed it GUIs a few times since 3.1 in 1992 and no one seemed to complain too much. The big two desktops (GUIs) on Linux, Gnome & KDE, have not so much changed but evolved over the years, just like Windows. Available & Stable - UBUNTU has been that since 2004, Red Hat (CENTOS for home users) since 2000 & Suse (now OpenSuse) since 1996.

The main stumbling block for new Linux users is they don't understand computers but they do understand Windows (which is just what Microsoft wants). A subtle difference, but enough to make Linux seem too alien and uncomfortable for them.

Zorin is a good choice for new users. Looks like Windows, based on stable UBUNTU. zorinos.com/

Ian

2019-07-02 12:26

Glad someone suggested Zorin. I have been using it for 4 years, and now rely on it completely. My desktop PC came with Windows 10. I installed "Classic Shell" to make it look like Windows 7. But I do not use it at all anymore. I have Zorin Lite (XFCE filing system) installed as a dual-boot (ie on startup you choose which operating system to use). All the software (programs) I use are Linux, including Free Office, Firefox Browser and Thunderbird e-mails. Anyone changing from Windows 7 should have no trouble, as the appearance is so similar. Zorin comes with an App Store which provides a lot of free programs.

Merlin

2019-07-01 17:27

The big problem isn't the variety of Linux flavors, you can allways stick to a base devellopment like Debian, Red Hat, and so on.
The real problem neather is the office programs like SoftMaker's Office versions, but the software people payed good money for that is only develloped under Windoze. These softwares most often aren't available for Linux. And that's the biggest problem with switching to Linux.

Laszlo Kovacs

2019-07-02 07:09

I see the problem different. Software companies exclude Linux, because
-they think Linux users won't pay a penny for their work.
-developing for Linux too takes resources, and that's not worth because Linux isn't widely used, so very few will buy the product if any...

So they consider to develop only for Mac/Windows.
SoftMaker is a nice exception. Yet there are Zedonet and BMD, but I don't know more...
So the problem is: Linux is not so widespread on the desktop, because lacking really good paid apps(?), because being not so widespread...
Isn't that a catch22?
Only firms like SoftMaker can change that.
I moved to Linux (Mint) after a forced move to Windows 10. A hardware upgrade and lacking Windows7 drivers forced me to Windows 10. In only one year I had more trouble with it, than XP and Win7 caused me the last 15 years. In march this year I became a full time Linux user, and am very happy.
I honestly can encourage anyone to try Linux, but not to give up on the first distro he/she doesn't like. Just look for a different distro, or different desktop environment. Maybe it's some need to try a dozen before accepting one for everyday use...
I can't stand EndlessOS, but love Linux Mint. Others probably dislike Mint, and vote for Elementary OS, or Ubuntu...
So try, try and try!
Get used to crossplatform apps instead of Windows-only apps.
SoftMaker Office is one of them :)

Reziac

2019-07-15 14:19

This is absolutely true. I tried about 150 distros before settling on PCLinuxOS/KDE. And now I look for crossplatform apps in both directions (my Windows PCs are littered with apps ported from linux, especially the KDE apps). Makes everything a whole lot easier, as you only need to learn ONE piece of software to use it everywhere.

Joe

2019-07-03 07:42

Maybe you can run your Windoze apps in a virtual machine? That would also allow you to run older versions of Windoze in a protected environment.

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