Windows 7 support expires on January 14, 2020. And if you’re a Windows 7 Pro user, Microsoft is going to tell you that right on your PC screen via a popup notification.
In March, Microsoft warned that it would begin using popup reminders to let Windows 7 users know that it was time to upgrade, and began pushing some to Windows 7 users. In an update to Microsoft’s original blog post, Microsoft is now saying that it’s begun specifically extending notifications to non-domain-joined Windows 7 Pro users—consumers, in everyday language. (ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported this earlier today.)
And it won’t happen just once, either, unless you choose to opt out. In its original blog post, Microsoft said that the notifications won’t happen just once, but a “a handful of times in 2019.” “By starting the reminders now, our hope is that you have time to plan and prepare for this transition,” the company said.
You will have the opportunity to stop the notifications entirely, though it’s very possible that Microsoft will warn you very strongly not to. “These notifications are designed to help provide information only and if you would prefer not to receive them again, you’ll be able to select an option for ‘do not notify me again,’ and we will not send you any further reminders,” Microsoft added.
By now, Microsoft’s position should be obvious: When Windows 7 officially exits support on Jan. 14, 2020, that PC will be at risk of attacks from malware that Microsoft simply won’t patch. (Enterprises will have the option of paying for extended support on a per-PC basis, but those options haven’t been made available to consumers.) Microsoft’s attitude toward the transition has ranged from gentle reminders to starker, more fearsome warnings, and it’s not clear what language Microsoft will use to remind users that it’s time to upgrade.
Microsoft’s point is pretty clear, though: If you own Windows 7, however, your deadline’s approaching.