(Pocket-lint) - It's the end of an era: Microsoft has ceased to support Windows 7. If you're still running the decade-old operating system you won't be getting any more updates, bug fixes and so forth. Here's what the plug-pull of the older operating system means.

Will my Windows 7 PC stop working?

No, not at all. You just won't receive any more security updates. Otherwise it's business as usual - as outdated as said business is.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

In a word, yes. There was a period at the beginning of Windows 10's life - note, there's no Windows 9 to worry about here, it never existed - when it was offered as a free upgrade (until 16 July 2016, so quite a while back!). But no longer. 

If you didn't take that offer up, or perhaps weren't able to due to a work security lockdown then you now have to pay for the upgrade.

It ranges from £119 to £339, but for most people Windows 10 Home (buy in the US or in the UK) is the version to go for, although there are some good deals on Windows 10 Pro at the moment as you can see here:


Will my current PC work with a Windows 10 upgrade?

The key point to this is that your machine runs Windows 7, it will run Windows 10. Although it's less heavyweight an operating system on the front end - it may not run as well as it could on an older system. So it may be time to consider a new PC or laptop purchase after all.

Can I transfer files to a new computer?

You can. An external hard drive is one way, or you can use Windows' Backup & Restore feature, which will pull your new files into the new operating system environment during install.

Microsoft suggests using OneDrive, its cloud storage solution, to back everything up online and then simply sync that with your new setup, which is another way of going it. It won't be free if you have lots of files though - up to 1TB is £5.99 a month, but you could cancel after if you wish.

What's the best laptop to buy?

If you do want to take the plunge and buy something sweet and new then there's a lot of choice out there. We've got a feature, link below, to round up all the greatest laptops, portables, 2-in-1s and Ultrabooks.

Writing by Mike Lowe.