Windows 7 End of Mainstream Support Draws Nigh


windows-7-logo1Windows 7 has been one of Microsoft’s most successful and popular operating systems to date, and deservedly so, it really is a great operating system.

Initially released to the masses in October 2009, following hot on the heels of Vista’s dismal performance, Windows 7 has steadily maintained a healthy market share in the mid 40 percentages. Even today, Windows 7 accounts for more than 50% of Windows total market share.

Credit: NetMarketShare

Credit: NetMarketShare

So, it can be somewhat alarming when users see headlines declaring that scheduled end-of-support dates are just around the corner.

What End of Mainstream Support Means for Windows 7 Users

Mainstream support for Windows 7 is scheduled to end in January 2015, which isn’t all that far away. However, there is no need to be alarmed, end of mainstream support merely means that Windows 7 will no longer receive any new features or enhancements after that date, vulnerability patches and security updates will still be delivered via Windows Update as per normal.

Windows 7 is now a mature operating system so enhancements and new features are pretty much at a natural end anyway. Mainstream support is typically a period of 5 years post launch, following this there is a period of ‘extended support’ which includes all important security related updates and stretches for an additional 5 years. In January, Windows 7 will transition into the extended support state, so your machine will remain safe and secure, at least until January 2020.


Windows lifecycle fact sheet

Windows lifecycle fact sheet

 

About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

12 Comments

    • No idea what that means Carlson.

      If it’s meant to be a question… in January 2015 mainstream support for Windows 7 will end and the operating system will transition into a five year period of extended support.

      Hope that helps.
      Cheers… Jim

  1. Hi Jim,
    One wonders if January, or at least early next year we see more news snippets relating to Windows 9.

    Regards,
    Jonno

  2. One can only hope Windows 8 & 8.1 et al goes the way of Vista & that Windows 9 is a better version of Windows 7.
    However by the same token it is hard to think what the world & computing will be like in 2020 when dear old W7 finally falls off the perch!

    • Considering that Windows 7 came out in 2009 and there have been a couple of releases (Windows 8/8.1) since then, well yes, it’s outdated. Doesn’t mean it’s not functional or not supported. But there won’t be any new features released for Windows 7 after January 2015.

      I’ve seen articles on this matter on a number of sites and there are surprisingly a large number of people who don’t seem to understand the difference between this and what happened to Windows XP. You can continue to use Windows 7 (and I’m writing this on a Win 7 based system I built back in 2011) for the next 5 1/2 years and Microsoft will be issuing patches and updates to the operating system during that time.

      Rest easy…

  3. Is it just me or are the support dates getting shorter. Windows xp had a few years more than most, probably because more people used XP and a lot of people didn’t want to upgrade especially after how Vista turned out.

    For me it’s not a bad thing, as I think by moving people along quicker Windows will become a lot more secure. Too many people stayed with XP for years using old programs e.g. Internet Explorer 6, putting themselves at higher risks of infections. The downside is that if they keep shortening the time it might be tricker for people running large systems who might not be able to afford upgrades easily