Windows 7 support ends 14th January 2020

If you are still using Win 7 on an old computer (26% of Windows users still do) you will no longer be getting regular security updates from Microsoft.
This does not mean that the operating system will immediately become useless, but it will eventually become a security risk.
It is likely that Microsoft will still do something if there is a catastrophic loophole in the system, and third party providers will still be offering free Firewall and Antivirus applications that will keep you safe from most risks. But eventually it will become too complicated and expensive for them to continue and then you will be on your own (in the jungle, after dark!)

So here are your options -

  1. If your computer is nearing the end of its useful life, or you fancy a more modern machine, you could carry on with Win 7 for a couple of years while you save your pennies. Remember, the longer you wait the better, because computers keep getting better and relatively cheaper.

  2. Upgrade to Win 10. Haven’t tried it myself, but this site says you can do it for free -
    But bear in mind that Win 10 can make heavy demands on an old computer and comes with lots of facilities that you won’t be able to use and probably don’t want anyway.
    But if you are taking work home you would be best advised to stick with the same OS as the company uses.

  3. Install Ubuntu or any other Linux implementation that you fancy. You can run it alongside Windows as a dual boot system, so you will still be able to keep your favorite Windows applications for use offline. I have been using Ubuntu for some while. It’s a bit of a learning curve, but is perfectly adequate for everyday use - and a lot faster loading than Windows. But I am still a big fan of Picasa 3 which is an extremely useful basic picture editor and only runs on Windows.

  4. If you are only interested in browsing, email and social media, get a tablet or smartphone. Finding your way around Android is another learning curve, but a popular choice for millions of users who just want a cheap, easily transportable all-in-one device.


Option 3 for me every time but I would question the wisdom of dual booting either Windoze or Ubuntu.
Most of the problems people have with Ubuntu stem from issues with dual booting which is often quite unnecessary. Most of the stuff I ever used with Windoze there is a free Linux version available such as LibreOffice as a very solid replacement for MS Office.
There is a Stack Exchange site dedicated to questions about Ubuntu where you can see and judge for yourself:

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Hasn’t given me any problems, but always useful to learn from othe people’s experience.

and just when you thought it safe to use Win10…

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Don’t panic! ! ! ! ! ! !

Who? Me?

Nope, I never thought it safe to use W10 :slight_smile:


I have a version of W10 running on a portable at work uniquely for an international administration supplied software that only runs in a 32bit environment with 32bit smartcard…the bane of my (professional) life. There are moves underfoot by various administrations I have to work with to offer the same degree of functionality via a browser, but the smartcard library software is still in most cases the issue…

I was talking to my neighbour just yesterday about recycling - we’re both trying to be environment-friendly - he is that rare beast a French vegan - and we discovered when it comes to computers we both buy secondhand, wipe off the existing operating system (and everything else with it) and install ubuntu - it’s much better at running on older hardware than windows, etc.


Don’t forget that it is still possible to do the upgrade gratis

But it may not be your best option.

bit of a turkey shoot then Paul :slightly_smiling_face:

I still have an old computer using Windows XP !! Is there any way I can upgrade to Windows 10 ?

Well, I’m as big a Linux fan as the next man and have more devices running Linux at home than I do running Windows but even I would admit that outside of enthusiasts and assorted other nerds and geeks Windows 10 probably is the better choice for most home users.

Of course, if you are that way inclined, you can tick both the Unix and mainstream boxes by going for MacOS :slight_smile:

Mmmm, dearie :crazy_face:
and I thought you were so butch :nerd_face:

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Doubt it as the underlying machine architecture will be a problem but on the other hand, there will be a flavour of Ubuntu which will happily reside on XP.

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If it’s good enough for Vladimir…

Great minds think alike !!

If your PC meets the minimum spec for W10 - which is actually quite low (1GHz processor, 16GB hard drive and 1GB RAM for the 32-bit version) you would need to buy a copy - the free upgrade only works for W7 and above.

Whether you’d want to run W10 on a machine with that specification is less clear - in fact you might not even want or be able to run a modern Linux system on that little hardware; Fedora dropped 32 bit support in version 31, for instance but one of the “lightweight” distros should be fine, but it’s never going to be fast, whatever OS you run.

Something with XFCE or IceWM desktop would do the trick on low-specced piece of hardware like that. Or you could push the boat out and spend 50€ all-in (unit/box/power supply) on a Raspberry Pi B3 with Raspbian…

They’ll be headhunting some software engineers from Boeing, perhaps?