Yes, you can still upgrade to Windows 7

Arcticsid knows he can't continue using Windows XP. He asked the Windows forum about upgrading to Windows 7 rather than Windows 8.

Yes, you can still update to Windows 7. Not only can you buy the operating system; you can even buy a new PC that's running it.

But for how long can you use it? Microsoft will end Windows 7 mainstream support in January, 2015. That seems awful close, but it's really not a problem. After all, XP's mainstream support ended in 2009. The important date is when extended support ends. That will be January, 2020.

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As I write this, you can still buy a Windows 7 computer, and if your current PC is powerful enough, you can upgrade that, as well.

Unfortunately, Microsoft no longer offers software that will tell if your current hardware can manage Windows 7. But it offers similar software for Windows 8, and the hardware requirements aren't that different.

To see if your PC will likely handle Windows 7, go to Microsoft's Buy Windows 8 page, click the Get Started button, and download and run the Upgrade Assistant program. If your PC passes the test, you won't have to buy a new PC--although you may want to in order to get more powerful hardware.

If you can and choose to keep your PC and upgrade your operating system, you'll have to buy a copy of Windows 7. That won't be difficult. I found plenty of options with a Google shopping search.

Before you do the actual install, read How to Upgrade to Windows 7 and How to Upgrade From XP to Windows 7. These should make the whole process easier and safer.

If you decide to buy a new PC (or if the Upgrade Assistant tells you that you don't have a choice), don't delay. Microsoft currently allows venders to bundle Windows 7 with a new computer through October 26, 2013. That's only next month.

Several vendors are selling Windows 7 PCs. Dell has a Web page for them. And with the right search criteria on Lenovo's site, you can bring up currently available Windows 7 laptops and desktops.

Read the original forum discussion.

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