Update to SHA 2 Or No Security Support for Widnows 7

Windows 7 Support May end soon!
It has been a long time since we have been using Windows 7 operating system for various reasons. It was initially released on 22 July 2009. After few years Microsoft released Windows 8/8.1 and then Windows 10. But many people and organizations are still using Windows 7 as it is rich in features and has a beautiful user friendly environment.

Microsoft is going to stop the software support for Windows 7 by 14 January 2020. Actually it has already ended mainstream support to Windows 7 in 2015. Mainstream support lasts for 5 years from the date of release of the operating system. During the mainstream support Microsoft provides security updates, adds new features and also covers warranty claims. After five years extended support will be given for another five years. During this period Microsoft provides limited support only. It means that it will not add any new features but gives bug fixes and patches. 

Now Microsoft is going to release a new encryption algorithm called SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm) on 12th March. SHA 1 is no more secure with the latest security threats. Owners of Windows 7 PCs need to sign up/ update their OS with SHA 2 till mid of July. Or else Microsoft will not offer security updates to your PC in the times of crisis. Microsoft urges Windows 7 users to get SHA 2 before mid July to get support till 2020.

Let us have a glance at some of the great features of Windows 7 OS (Operating System):
Automatically Changing Wallpaper: This feature is first time used in this OS. It has different themes in personalize menu with different wallpapers and sounds. When a theme is selected, wallpapers automatically change after some time period.

Snipping Tool: Using snipping tool you can capture any portion of the screen in PNG, JPEG, GIF or Single file HTML formats. The snipped image can further be edited and also can be shared via email.

Windows Explorer Libraries: Libraries feature is very much helpful to get one click access to any folder stored on the local hard disk. It can be seen in the left pane of Windows Explorer. 

Action Centre: Security and Maintenance related messages are displayed in the notification area. These messages can be turned on/off in Action Centre.

Windows Mobility Centre: It provides different tools which can be used to adjust brightness of the screen, check the battery status and change the power plans, turn on or off the wifi, connect external display, sync network files or folders for offline usage, presentation settings. 

Problem Steps Recorder: It is a great tool to reproduce a problem. Using this application you can record and save a problem in single file html format and then share it to the technical expert to analyze and troubleshoot.

Thumbnail Previews: Now you can have a quick glance at all the open instances of an application. You can see the thumbnail preview by placing mouse pointer on the running application’s icon in taskbar. 

Tablet PC Input Panel: This program is specifically designed for Tablets and touch screen devices. It converts handwritten text into legible text. It supports multiple languages.

Sticky Notes: A quick note can be typed and saved in the sticky notes on the desktop. 

BitLocker: Bitlocker is included in Windows 7’s Ultimate and Enterprise editions only. This feature is inherited from Vista OS. It is designed to encrypt entire hard disk.
You can find step by step guide to use this tool here.

Virtual Hard disk: Virtual Hard Disk VHD file format is supported by Windows 7’s Ultimate and Enterprise editions. A VHD drive can be created from the Disk Management’s Action menu. Windows can be installed and booted from VHD even on non virtual hardware.

Windows 7 also has a nice start menu that includes a search bar to find programs and files. Several built-in Gadgets can be added to the desktop.


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