CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft, Amazon cracks down on counterfeits, and the IRS releases a new withholding estimator tool

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Microsoft no longer supporting Windows 7, encourages users to upgrade systems

It's the end of an era: starting today, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7.

The operating system will continue to work, and users can continue to use machines that are running it, but once support has ended, there will no longer be software updates -- including security updates and patches. This means devices with Windows 7 will become increasingly vulnerable to security risks and viruses.

One third of PCs around the globe run Windows 7, which was released in October 2009 -- meaning hundreds of millions of PCs are going to become targets of malicious attacks.

Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10, which can cost between $129 to $199. And if your computer cannot run the newer operating system (check out Microsoft's compatibility guide) -- well, Microsoft is encouraging users to upgrade their machine, even offering a quiz to help consumers find the right new computer for them.



Amazon cracking down on counterfeit goods sold on its platform

Amazon is increasing the amount of data it shares with law enforcement regarding counterfeit goods sold on its site.

After receiving criticism for how it handles fake goods found on its platform, Amazon is stepping up its effort to fight fakes by reporting the "seller's name, company name, product and contact information" once they verify that the seller is listing counterfeit products. Amazon will also shut down the seller's account if the seller fails to appeal to Amazon. Previously, Amazon would flag the accounts of sellers when "it felt it had enough data" for police to prosecute.



IRS launches new Tax Withholding Estimator online tool

Take the guesswork out of filling out your W-4 with the IRS's new "Tax Withholding Estimator."

According to a press release from the Internal Revenue Service, the new estimator is "designed to help workers target the refund they want by having the right amount of federal income tax taken out of their pay." Starting this year, income tax withholding is based on a worker's expected filing status and standard deduction for the year, instead of marital status and allowances.

The new estimator features a "refund slider" to help workers choose their preferred refund. The tool then gives them specific recommendations for their W-4 form (want a bigger refund? The estimator can tell you how much should be withheld from your paycheck), and even provides a PDF of the form with key parts filled out, which they can then turn in to their employers.



Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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