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Windows 7 — Upgrade or Replace?

July 30, 2019

It seems like just yesterday we had to start replacing Windows XP computers with Windows 7 or above because Microsoft decided it would no longer provide support and security patches and updates for the XP operating system.

Now, less than six months away from the end of support for Windows 7 by Microsoft, the only question remaining is — Upgrade, or Replace?

With support ending for Windows 7 on Jan. 14, 2020, businesses that haven’t already done so need to decide by the end of the year whether to replace existing Windows 7 computers or simply upgrade the existing computers to Windows 10.

Several considerations factor into this:

  • Will necessary applications, peripherals and devices work with Windows 10?
  • Will the existing computers be able to handle Windows 10?
  • Can you just upgrade some (cost about $100 – $200) and replace some (cost $600 – $700)?
  • Do you absolutely need to keep Windows 7 for a legacy application or device?
  • When should the computers be upgraded or replaced?

So, if you are certain your applications, peripherals and devices work with Windows 10, the next question is whether your existing computers can handle Windows 10.

If the existing computer has at least 8GB of Ram and a processor rated at 3.0ghz or higher for a desktop or 2.0ghz or higher for a laptop and is still in warranty, it would be a good candidate for an upgrade to Windows 10 instead of replacing it.

If its Ram and processor are below those numbers, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 but your pc’s performance will likely diminish. At the same time, if you can upgrade the Ram to 8GB and the processor meets the above standards you can just upgrade to Windows 10. If not, avoid the aggravation and replace it.

If you absolutely must keep Windows 7 for older applications and devices, you can purchase extended support for Windows 7 at $50 the first year, $100 the second year and $200 the third year, or $350 total for 3 years.

Keep in mind you can’t skip the payments in Years 1 and 2 and then buy Year 3 and save $150. If you decide to live dangerously for one or two years before purchasing the extended support package you will be charged for the years you skipped.

So, that’s like the last resort option.

Once you have decided which computers should be replaced and which can just be upgraded, you need to decide on a replacement / upgrade schedule.

You don’t want to wait until the end of the year to replace or upgrade 20-30 computers all at once for a small business or more than 100 computers if your business is mid-sized or larger. Besides cash flow, you need to plan the upgrades and replacements time-wise.

As always, consider the warranty when purchasing business computers. If you can’t get a part shipped out next day but have to ship the computer back to the manufacturer, consider paying for the type of warranty that will guarantee next-business-day parts shipment so your computer isn’t shelved for a week or more. Dell does that.

If you need help with upgrading or replacing your existing computers, call us at 302-537-4198 or email me at

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