Microsoft ends free Windows 7 security updates on Tuesday

Microsoft (Photo: GoToVan / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft will stop providing free security updates for the Windows 7 operating system on Tuesday, meaning computers using it will be more vulnerable to malware and hacking.

Users who want to protect their computers need to upgrade to Windows 10.

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They may also need to buy new computers because older machines might not be compatible with Windows 10.

Windows 10 starts at $139 for a basic, “Home” version.

Tech companies typically phase out older systems after a number of years and focus efforts on updating current versions of software.

It’s possible to buy extended support, but it might be easier to upgrade.