Just like beloved XP, Windows 7 is going to be end of life cycle next January. Vista , did the same, but not as beloved so I don’t think many noticed.
What does end of life cycle mean? It means no more patches. With that, security patches. Which means if a security flaw is discovered, Microsoft will not develop and push a patch out to address it. Although, cyber thiefs will certainly write malware to take advantage.
What to do? Even though it’s not exactly clear if you can still update to Windows 10 or not for free. From testing in the our lab, we were able to upgrade one of our machines no problem.
I don’t usually recommend putting a new operating system on old hardware though. That old hardware wasn’t designed to run the more resource intensive newer operating systems. So a machine that came with Windows 7 is not going to run as fast with Windows 10, in fact it could very likely have some trouble.
But . . . for machines that maybe are not so critical to your medical practice, for instance, a computer that is not sat at and used from opening to closing, there is a possible alternative. We can upgrade the machine to a new solid state hard drive. Solid state hard drives have come down in price and have a lot higher input\output then traditional hard drives. Basically, makes computer a lot faster.
How easy is it to do? Not particularly, but we use a program called Fresh Start to do it relatively efficiently. After your old machine is upgraded with significantly increase of input\output of hard drive, then we can upgrade to Windows 10. This will give another two to three years of life to the computer!