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Windows 7 or 10 or Other OS?

If you want to get the same thing that everyone else has, then Windows 10 is that option. Windows 10 really is a great operating system. There are many good reasons to choose it. Microsoft will likely support it for some time, you'll get timely updates, new devices will work right first try, etc. And most importantly, it is now the only Windows operating system that Microsoft supports.

Our PC's are designed to work very well with Windows 10.

However, Windows 7 is still used by millions of users around the world. And there are now 23+ PC operating systems to choose from, some of which are quite good at their specializations. And then there's Linux, a well established alternative, doing quite well with servers, and people wanting more privacy. A lot of these people do not want to change to Windows 10. For various reasons.

But Isn't Microsoft Forcing New Computers To Windows 10?

The web is flooded with articles that make it sound exactly this way. Titles like "New processors will only work with Windows 10", and with device and motherboard manufacturers listing only Windows 10 in support of their product. These each add to the idea that Microsoft has stepped way over the monopoly line in some major deal to get new CPU's to only work with Windows 10. However, as with most creative marketing, the general perception is at a bit of an angle to the real issues.

Here is what's really happening...

  • There is a claim circulating around that older versions of Windows (including 7) will simply not work with the newer CPU's, but that is just a claim, and can't be tracked back to anything with substance. Other than the gradual accumulation of technical issues matching an older OS with a newer CPU. These are almost always solvable. A good BIOS patch includes emulation to bridge this gap. As an example of how gradual: Windows XP is still alive and well on relatively new PC's.
  • To get support for Windows it must be updated to a version current for the CPU. This is the only real new twist, and the way it gets worded often makes it sound like the CPU's are designed to not work with anything but Windows 10.
  • Microsoft has stopped updating all Windows versions except Windows 10.
  • Microsoft Update has stopped working with all Windows versions except Windows 10.
  • Obtaining drivers for newer technologies, such as NVMe, requires research, and some people don't want to bother. This makes Windows 10 the more convenient solution.
  • Newer motherboards (except the one we picked for our PC's) have eliminated BIOS in the boot process, leaving just UEFI boot, which will not work with nearly all older PC operating systems, including older Windows operating systems. However, there will likely always be motherboards available that include a BIOS.
  • Intel literally gave up their attempt to patch the security vulnerability known as "Spectre variant 2" on several of their older CPU platforms (Bloomfield, Clarksfield, Gulftown, Harpertown Xeon C0, Harpertown Xeon E0, Jasper Forest, Penryn/QC, SoFIA 3GR, Wolfdale C0 and M0, Wolfdale E0 and R0, Wolfdale Xeon X0, Wolfdale Xeon E0, Yorkfield, and Yorkfield Xeon).
  • Spectre and Meltdown are very serious security threats affecting both Intel and AMD, allowing hackers entry into nearly every PC and nearly all of the cloud. Patches are works in progress, meaning we will need more patching before the breach is completely fixed.
  • And it just so happens that these patches may be applied through Windows Update or through BIOS (aha!!).
  • Windows Update now only works on Windows 10, and the only other way to get these very important security patches is through BIOS.

Rather than explaining all this, Microsoft publicizes various statements such as "soon everyone will be forced to use Windows 10" (a statement that we can no longer find, because they publicized the statement, then pulled it back down). Each statement is very similar, and seems at first glance to mean something like: "I will be forced by Microsoft to use Windows 10", while technically not really saying that.

Each carefully selected wording gets the reader to feel as though they have no choice but to go with Windows 10. A bit pushy?

Here's how we see it: Even making it sound like there's a restriction against the right to choose any PC OS on a modern PC is something that threatens very real and practical consumer objectives. Spectre and Meltdown are the primary security threats on the table, and Coffee Lake is included in the active patches from Intel (which can be applied through BIOS if you do not use Windows Update). The truth is that there are options. And the consumer should be able to pick whatever they want.

How Windows 7 Will Survive Past January 14th, 2020

Windows 7 was used by hundreds of millions of users, and is still one of the most used operating systems in the world. This adds up to the largest ever public support base of 3rd party experts intent on keeping it running smoothly. This is about as close as you can get to a guarrantee of continued support. We are convinced that this support will be better than Microsoft support. And this means you can turn off Windows Update. No more updates that you didn't ask for.

With this approach, you will have put a stop to the continual updating and rapid new features going in that you never asked for in the first place, preventing far more security issues, and giving you far more control.

And you can always use a restore image to immediately recover from anything unexpected.

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