TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Microsoft is set to end extended support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, putting a halt on the free bug fixes and security patches for most who have the operating system installed, leaving millions of users at risk of severe viruses.

The tech giant will not provide any security updates aimed at the operating system's home users from January 2020.

Businesses will have to pay a hefty price tag for extended support beyond this date and the lack of updates will leave home PCs open to security breaches and viruses.

Windows 7 is currently still installed on 42.8 per cent of computers around the world, while Windows 10 sits at 45.5 per cent, according to analytics company Net Applications, Daily Mail reported.

However, until next year Microsoft will push critical security updates but old operating systems are still at more at risk of security exploits than newer versions.

The company introduced Windows 7 in 2009, but ended mainstream support for the system in 2015.

Users running Windows 7 will be encouraged to upgrade to Windows 10 over the next year.

Microsoft have warned that those who are still using the old version after the deadline will not only be more susceptible to viruses, they will also lack customer support.

upgrade to Windows 10, users could be charged at prices going up to £100 ($130) to get the latest version.

Windows 10 was introduced in 2014 as a free upgrade but many users stuck with Windows 7 because they were familiar with it.

Last year, the system eclipsed Windows 7 in usage with a 39.22 per cent of the desktop operating system market, compared to Windows 7's 36.9 per cent.

This figure is likely to widen as the year goes on and Microsoft continue to entice users to update their software.