Microsoft is patching a major Windows 10 flaw discovered by the NSA

Thursday, 16 Jan, 2020

We doubt many people will ever need to learn about Indexer Diagnostics, but for people who rely on Windows 10's search tools, it could be a handy way to help Microsoft find problems with its software. That goal is undoubtedly within reach now, however, because Tuesday, January 14th marks the last day of official Windows 7 support.

The timing is concerning because the fact that Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7 leaves all the users especially vulnerable.

Before you buy the Windows 10 upgrade, you'll want to make sure your computer has the system requirements to run it.

What does this all mean?

It's not flawless (what operating system is?) but it offers plenty of scaleability that means older hardware can still cope with Windows 10.

Right now, Google Chrome is the leading desktop browser out there with almost 65% market share, and Google has already announced support for Windows 7 for at least 18 more months.

ESU aside, Microsoft also has the Windows Virtual Desktop Program, which allows businesses to continue using Windows 7 with free extended security updates until January 2023. For starters, no one was testing with Microsoft's browser.

Firefox has patched the security vulnerability - called CVE-2019-17026 - with the 72.0.1 update.

"Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009".

Technically, there is nothing to stop you using your Windows 7 PC the way you always have. The price to upgrade your PC spirals to £219.99 for Windows 10 Pro and a jaw-dropping £339 for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations.

Windows 10 is the most widely-used operating system in the world. You can check out our preparation guides on migrating from Windows 7 to Linux which cover backup and media creation, and other preparations.

The news comes as Firefox users are being warned to update their browsers immediately after Mozilla discovered a serious security flaw that could let hackers take control of your computer.

That's not a cheap ask, given that Windows 10 Home edition costs £119.99 for a single license, which is valid for one PC.

A basic laptop with Windows 10 installed can start at around $300 and sometimes upgrading an older computer with newer software can slow it down.

Windows 10, which the company said has 900 million users, only recently surpassed Windows 7 in market share.

What do United Kingdom officials say? Build a habit of saving data into the clients you install on Windows 7 PC or upload them.

"The consequences of not patching the vulnerability are severe and widespread", the National Security Agency wrote in its advisory.

"We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device, and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts".

So what does Windows 7 End of Support mean? As an example of the impact of such support ending, we only need to look back to when WannaCry crippled the NHS because many of its systems still used Windows XP despite support having been dropped for them by Microsoft.

Charges range from $25 (£19) per device to $200 per device and increase each year.

Windows 7 went on to amass so much popularity that even the Windows 8 found no place near it.

"The user is not always able to upgrade without voiding the warranty", said Mr Ferguson.