Hey, Windows 7 users: Would a free Windows 10 upgrade make you switch?

With Windows 7 fast approaching end of life, the remaining hundreds of millions of users still on that OS should seriously be considering an alternative. There's Windows 8, Windows 10, Linux, or even the Mac route if you're feeling up for extreme change. Remaining on Windows 7 is a terrible idea, because after January 14 you will no longer be protected from any new vulnerabilities that are discovered, and over time, even apps will stop supporting Windows 7 as well.

I think it's wise for most Windows 7 users to switch to Windows 10 at this point. While many Windows 7 PCs on the market today likely won't run well with Windows 10, there are plenty out there today that would. So, I wonder, would those users be willing to take advantage of another free Windows 10 upgrade window? Microsoft pushed Windows 10 hard at launch in 2015, offering it free of charge on the desktops of millions of people.

The upgrade window was limited, however, and after many months the free upgrade went away. Microsoft already said it won't be opening the free upgrade window again, meaning if Windows 7 users want to upgrade to Windows 10, they will have to pay for a full license to update. Many Windows 7 users at the time were extremely unhappy that Microsoft was pushing Windows 10 so hard with popups that wouldn't go away and System Tray icons that remained in place permanently.

If Microsoft were to offer Windows 10 again, it'd have to be way less forceful about the whole thing. A single popup, detailing that Windows 7 is running out of time, and that Microsoft is graciously offering its hand to help once again with a free upgrade to Windows 10. If the user rejects it, that offer goes away and is gone forever. If you're running Windows 7, would you be willing to take advantage of another free Windows 10 upgrade window, assuming your PC could handle it?

If you choose to remain on Windows 7, your PC becomes a huge target and security risk after January 14. I think there will still be millions of Windows 7 users after support ends, and I'm sure attackers will want to take advantage of that. On Windows 10, heck, even on Windows 8, you'll be safe from that. According to Net Market Share, Windows 7 still accounts for 40 percent of the PC market, with Windows 10 on around 37 percent of PCs. Microsoft has already publicly stated that Windows 10 is in use on 800 million devices, meaning there are hundreds of millions still on Windows 7.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads