So guys, as you already probably know, as of 14 January 2020 Windows 7 is finally out of support from Microsoft. We have known that will happen for a long time, but there is still large chunk of people still running it on their machines. So what should they do. There are few options:
1) keep using it as it is. No updates and security patches. Or pay for each patch to Microsoft a hefty price(I don't know how this works).
2) ditch Windows 7 and Windows in General and switch to Linux, like Ubuntu or Mint. For most users that are not gamers this is a viable option.
3) Upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
I have been doing that for a long time. I'd say now, over 4 years. If you have Windows 7 product key you can freely upgrade to a Windows 10 without any hustle and your system will be with active license. If you want to upgrade directly your Win 7 to 10 you can do that using the Windows updater and it will go without any hustle, your Windows 10 will be licensed. But if you want to make a clean new install you can do this and it still works - i did like like a week ago:
1) format the drive.
2) boot-up Windows 10 installation media -> USB or a DVD.
3) start a new Windows 10 installation.
4) At the point where the system is asking for a license key you need simply to enter your Windows 7 key and it will be accepted.
Once the installation is finished, when you open My Computer->properties it will look like that:
Only thing you need to remember is this. Windows 7 Pro upgrades to Windows 10 pro, Win 7 Home > Win 10 Home and so on.
They can't mix -> You can't upgrade Win 7 Home to Win 10 Pro, and when you are downloading the media, you need to have the correct distribution.
Another thing to remember is to get the 64bit version. If you own a PC with that is 32 bit, better ditch it and spend 30 to 50 bucks for one that has at least dualcore CPU and 4GBs of RAM. All of those are 64bit. 32bit Windows, is for very old machines and it's not recommended for any productivity machines.
I recently got completely free 3 small form farctor PCs with 2GBs of RAM and Core 2 Duo CPUs. All of them are about 12 years old, but they are very capable of running Windows 10 with a slight upgrade of the RAM to 4Gigs.
Of course, if you guys don't have a product key for Windows 7 you can always start pirating :D But I'm not going to teach you how to do that.
One way to get product key for Windows 7 is to look for it at old PCs that companies ditch. Most large businesses are using Enterprise licenses and the Windows releases that are coming with a laptop/PC they are buying for their employees are actually not used. Those machines have a sticker like that:
if you find such a machine that is thrown away that has such sticker, I am pretty sure it is not illegal and you can use it. The last used laptop I bought last month, had such sticker for Win 7, and I used it to install Windows 10 and now it works very well all licensed and having regular updates.
As last resort, you can go to websites such as G2A and Ebay to get Windows 7 or Windows 10 product key for a low price.
Good luck all and I hope you find this useful.