10 YEARS AGO: An eager crowd waiting to buy the new Windows 7 operating system at Harvey Norman on  October 22, 2009. Microsoft is ending support of the system next year.
10 YEARS AGO: An eager crowd waiting to buy the new Windows 7 operating system at Harvey Norman on October 22, 2009. Microsoft is ending support of the system next year. MAP AND PAGE

BYTE ME: Support for 7 going out the Window

TODAY'S main theme is to get the message out that Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 on January 14 next year.

Just to set the stage for this discussion, we should quickly recant the different versions of Microsoft's popular Windows series of home user operating systems.

Windows 95 was the first "multi-tasking” operating system and as such it was very ground-breaking at the time.

Such was the confusion and the massive "essential” spin that Microsoft's advertising arm put on the importance of Windows 95 back then, that many people bought a copy of it without even having a computer to run it on.

Windows 98 soon followed with the slogan of "Where do you want to go today?” and again it created massive sales and got lots of new to computer customers across the line.

Then Microsoft dropped the ball to a large degree with Windows Millennium edition or ME for short. ME was short-lived and became the forerunner to Windows XP.

XP was released in 2001 and became immensely popular and trusted. There was good reason for this as it was extremely stable, easy to drive and was kept around for six years. Windows Vista, released in 2007, was another lemon and we managed not to sell a single copy of it to any customer during the three years that it prevailed.

Windows 7 was released in late 2009 and kept us extremely busy as we upgraded XP users (bypassing Vista) across to it.

Windows 7 also won the hearts of millions of people worldwide before the launch of Windows 8 in late 2012. Windows 8 and later 8.1 were not as well received as they marked the start of advertising on our personal computers.

Windows 10 (the current Windows version) was released on July 2015 and at this stage Microsoft has not released any plans to replace it.

Windows 10 has taken PC advertising and intrusiveness yet another step forward for software vendors (read - a step backwards for users) however, these annoying traits can largely be turned off.

It needs to be understood that nothing in our industry stays the same for long.

Developments in software, internet provision and hardware are all progressing at a staggering rate.

So are users' expectations of what a computer will do for them. Now we even have half the population walking around with a smartphone that takes higher resolution photos than a $5000 camera of just a few years ago.

As a result, companies such as Microsoft cannot sit still - they are forced into this merry-go-round of continuous product development or they will fall behind. And consumers must accept some of the blame for this.

They want the higher resolution pictures and movies, the more realistic computer games, the faster internet connections...

When change is afoot there will always be causalities of war and in this instance that causality is older operating systems.

They have a useful life cycle and it is numbered in months rather than years.

It will cost Microsoft too much to keep Windows 7 patched and secure for much longer and as a result it will officially drop support for it next January.

Next week we will talk about how to migrate or upgrade away from Windows 7.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to bytemearticles@gmail.com and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.