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Microsoft ends free Windows 7 security updates on Tuesday

A computer store employee stacks copies of Microsoft’s new operating system ‘Windows 7’ ahead of its official launch at midnight tonight on October 21, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

(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.

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.

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