December 11, 2019
Windows 7, Ford Flex, Yahoo Groups are among products vanishing in 2020
In life, nothing lasts forever.
And in 2020 some car buyers, internet users and not-quite-65-year-olds will have to reckon with this hard truth as a number of the products and services they want or rely on will go away.
Windows PC users will want to be aware that on Jan. 14, 2020 Microsoft will officially end its support for Windows 7. But don't worry if you still use it. Your computer will still boot up for the time being. This move only means that Microsoft will stop updating Windows 7, which could eventually force you to upgrade, as internet browsers and other programs update themselves out of compatibility with the operating system.
Windows 7 debuted in 2009, only three years after the release of the widely criticized Windows Vista, and maintains about 27% of the market share of desktop operating systems as of November 2019, according to the market data vendor Net Applications.
Here's some other changes coming with the new year:
Not everybody loved the Flex, the slow-selling box of an SUV Ford had been building since 2008. But the car has its boosters. A Ford Flex enthusiast group on Facebook currently has over 4,500 members, with 223 joining in the last month alone.
Sales of the Flex spiked in the years immediately following its release, with 38,000 and 34,000 sold in 2009 and 2010, respectively. But for the past five years sales have hovered around the 20,000 mark—not enough for Ford.
Need a group hug?
Yahoo Groups, a website that hosted online social groups and message boards since 2001, already shut down on Oct. 28. No users have been able to join since then, nor have existing users been able to make new posts.
The site will remain intact until Dec. 14. Until then, users will be able to go back and save any images or content they wish to. After that, Yahoo will remove all content from the site. This includes photos, polls, and other files. After the 14th, users will still be able to search for private groups and communicate with other users over email, Yahoo said in an announcement.
In 2020, at least one television streaming service will perish because the market was simply too competitive. PlayStation Vue, Sony's answer to services like Netflix and Hulu, will cease operations on Jan. 30, 2020.
"Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected," said John Kodera, deputy president of Sony Interactive, in a statement. "Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business.
PlayStation Vue is different from Netflix and Hulu in that it offered live TV channels in addition to streamable on-demand shows. In 2016, for example, Sony added news stations owned and operated by CBS, NBC, and FOX to its lineup, complementing its streamable content from A&E Networks, The Walt Disney Company, and many others. Paying a monthly fee, users could watch content from all of these outlets, including live shows, through their PlayStation 4 and on other devices.
Monthly plans for PlayStation Vue started at $49.99 and peaked at $84.99, making Vue one of the costliest streaming services available.
There's no Plan F
If you're turning 65 before Jan. 1, 2020, and are looking to enroll in Medicare, you're in luck, because you'll still be eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan F. If you turn 65 after this date, you will no longer be able to enroll in this supplement plan,
Medicare Supplement Plan F helps pay for a number of other fees, deductibles, and copays associated with other Medicare plans.
For example, Medicare Supplement Plan F helps cover the annual deductible on Medicare Part B, which covers regular doctor visits, medical equipment, and outpatient services. In 2020, this deductible will cost $198, according to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Plan F also helps cover fees under Medicare Part A, such as those involving hospital care.
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