After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7. This means Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or any other form of support. As a result, computers running Windows 7 will be vulnerable to hacks, viruses, and other issues if they are not upgraded to the most recent version of Windows. This directly impacts users of Shepherd’s Staff. After Windows 7 support ends, CTS will not take steps to fix issues that arise relating to Windows 7. Currently the development of Shepherd’s Staff is being optimized for Windows 10, so it is safe to upgrade to Windows 10 at any time.
What This Means for You
We recommend that you install Windows 10. Microsoft offered this upgrade for free over a year ago, so your computer may already have the operating system downloaded and ready to install. All you will need to do is check for updates and install the new version! You will be given the option to install Windows 10 and keep all files that are currently on the computer, so you won’t need to reinstall Shepherd’s Staff. If you do not have Windows 10 already downloaded, you will need to purchase a license from Microsoft. All CTS programs, including Shepherd’s Staff, have been updated to run on Windows 10.
Choosing Which License to Buy
Microsoft has a couple different versions of Windows 10. In most cases, a church will only need Windows 10 Home. This is a basic version of Windows 10 and includes Windows Defender, a free built-in anti-virus program that is recommended for use here at CTS. For churches looking for stronger security, Windows 10 Pro is the best option. Not only does it include Windows Defender, but it also includes other security features like BitLocker and Active Directory support.
Upgrade Your Computer and Get a License for Free!
When did you buy your computer? On average, computers have a four-year lifespan. Many computers will still run after four years, but the chance of catastrophic hardware failure increases and these computers often run slower than they did originally. Today, the vast majority of new computers come with Windows 10 Home installed. If your computer is more than four years old, it may be time to consider buying a new one.
If you can’t afford to buy a new computer, consider buying a refurbished one. There are numerous reputable places you can purchase a refurbished computer, usually with deep discounts. Do some research before you buy. Good companies will offer a one-year warranty when you buy a refurbished computer. This is important because “refurbished” means the computer had a previous owner but was rebuilt by the company selling it. It is important to note that most refurbished computers do not come with a monitor, keyboard, or mouse. You can use the ones you are already using.
Here are some great places to look for refurbished computers:
- Dell (Dell computers refurbished by Dell technicians)
- Best Buy
- Walmart (good prices, but usually a shorter warranty)
What to Look for in a New Computer
Researching new computers can be confusing. Here are some things to look for in a new computer:
Operating System (OS)
Storage (HDD or Hard Drive)
A refurbished computer with an Intel i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive can be found for as little as $170. Windows 10 Home costs $139 by itself. If you purchase a $170 computer that is already running Windows 10, you will essentially be paying $31 for Windows 10 rather than $139! You will be protected from hacks, viruses, and many other issues. Plus, Shepherd’s Staff and other programs will run better!