Will Your Windows 7 Trading Computer Be Secure in 2020?

Chalkboard with writing 'update' and clock at 11:55

Microsoft has announced the end of life for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. You probably already received one or more notifications about this change from Microsoft.

If your trading computer is still running on Windows 7, now is the time to figure out what this means and evaluate your options.

Change is hard, especially when that change interrupts the flow of your business. And learning new software is probably not at the top of your bucket list. Nevertheless, regular software upgrades are crucial for the performance and security of your trading computer.

I don’t want you to panic, but now is the time to educate yourself on why the demise of Windows 7 is important to traders, and what it means for your trading business.

What Does “End of Life” Even Mean?

Windows 7 was released on October 22, 2009. At the time, Microsoft promised 10 years of support for the product. So, the date of January 14, 2020 is in line with that promise.

Generally, most people upgrade their operating systems in a decade. But Windows 7 has been very popular. A lot of individuals and businesses are still using it. One report suggests Windows 7 is still being used on 39% of all PCs.

In fact, we were offering it as an option on new trading computers until fairly recently. So, if your trading computer is still on Windows 7, you are not alone.

When Microsoft says end of life, it doesn’t mean your Windows 7 computer will stop working on the announced date. It only means you won’t get any more security and software updates after that.

At first glance, this might seem like a trivial matter. But, without updates, your device will become vulnerable to new viruses and malware. Given that your trading business relies heavily on the health of your trading computer, we recommend you take this announcement seriously.

What Are the Requirements for Upgrade?

As always, keeping your trading computer up-to-date ensures your device will perform at its best, and your system and data will be as secure as possible.

Your best option is to upgrade to Windows 10 before the January 14 end-of-life date. However, before you take this path, make sure your trading desktop or laptop can handle the upgrade.

Here are the minimum requirements for Windows 10:

  • Minimum Processor: 1 GHz or faster
  • Minimum RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Minimum Hard Disk Space: 16 GB for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit
  • Minimum Graphics Card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Minimum Display Resolution: 800 x 600

Of course, the above requirements are just the minimum for the Windows 10 operating system to work. We recommend you trade on laptops and desktops with significantly better specs than the minimum requirements. (Grab a copy of our e-book How To Buy a Trading Computer for more info.)

How Much Will the Upgrade Cost?

Unfortunately, the Windows 10 upgrade isn’t free. Microsoft lists Windows 10 Home license at $139, Windows 10 Pro license at $199, and Windows 10 Pro for Workstations license at $309. These licenses are for a single computer.

As you can see, the upgrade can be quite expensive! Especially if you have a lot of computers in your office.

What If This Is a Bad Time?

For trading businesses that have a lot of computers running Windows 7, upgrading to a new operating system can mean extended downtime. To avoid business disruptions, especially if the timing is bad for your business, you could opt to keep your current version.

If you do decide to stay with Windows 7, Microsoft offers a last-resort option: the Extended Security Update (ESU) program. This program will provide critical software updates until January 10, 2023. But note that this truly is a last-resort solution. And, it’s expensive.

What Are the Best Options?

We think that upgrading to Windows 10 is the best option for Windows 7 users. Even with the high price of the license, it provides better value in terms of performance and security.

If you’re concerned about the tech side of upgrading, we can help. Upgrading is time consuming and can be tricky. We are happy to offer a complete white-glove experience for Windows 7 users who would rather let someone else do the heavy lifting of their upgrade. Learn more about our upgrade service here: White Glove Upgrade to Windows 10.

If you have an older machine that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of Windows 10, this is a good time to consider updating components, or even buying a new trading computer. That way, you’ll get the most out of your transition to the new Windows operating system. And, even better, you should notice a big difference in your trading results as well.

There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyer’s guide. Check out our How To Buy a Trading Computer e-book.
Remember, we are here to help with all your technology-related questions. If you think of additional questions about upgrading your computer hardware, or if you want help assessing your trading computer’s eligibility for the Windows 10 upgrade, give me a call. My team and I are here to help. We’re happy to answer any of your questions about trading computers via phone: 800-387-5250.

Image by Gerd Altmann on pixabay.