Microsoft released Windows 7 in 2009. Even though Windows 8 has been available for a few years and Windows 10 is set to launch this year, there are still millions of people using Windows 7.

But mainstream support for the operating system ends today. That doesn’t mean the company is leaving Windows 7 users out in the cold though.

Extended support continues through January 14th, 2020.

win7 netbook navigator

So what does that mean?

Mainstream support includes free telephone support, non-security updates, hardware warranty claims, and more. Those features will not longer be available.

That ends today. But Microsoft will continue to release security updates for another 5 years. And customers who need extra support can pay for Premiere or Essential support services until 2020.

Microsoft stopped offering Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium licenses last year, but business customers who want “downgrade rights” can still purchase new machines with Windows 7 Professional instead of Windows 8.1.

via ZDNet and CNET

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8 replies on “Windows 7 mainstream support ends (extended support gets another 5 years)”

  1. I have been using Win 8.1 on a netbook size computer. It is slow. It does not have a touchscreen. I have used Win 7. After using Win 8.1, I appreciate Win 7 even more. I can see why Best Buy was selling it for less than it cost them. I have used Win 8 on a bigger laptop but it too was slow. I am hoping Win 10 comes out soon and I can ‘upgrade’ (depending on how well it does) to Win 10.

  2. Makes Microsoft’s kind of sense, start phasing out the one popular version of your OS before you have another broadly accepted version.

    1. This happened with Windows XP too. They ended mainstream support in April 2009, and Windows 7 wasn’t available until October 2009.

      1. And indeed, Windows 2000 mainstream support ended June 30, 2005, before Vista. Seems pretty standard that they avoid mainstream support for more than two versions (not unreasonable given that that spans many years), but have extended support for much longer than that. Nothing strange going on here.

        1. Reading between the lines, it looks like it’s just an opportunity to retrain their support staff on the new version of Windows.

    2. 8/8.1 may not yet have the massive installbase of Windows 7, but it is still also popular by any reasonable measure (e.g., selling 100 million in 6 months, and already has a significant chunk of installed userbase). Installed userbase always drags years behind sales (which is how share is usually reported), especially on PCs where many people keep them for up to 10 years, and OSs are not a free upgrade.

      Microsoft’s length of support is pretty long by any standard in software, or especially operating systems[*]. Yes, obviously there is self-interest, but this is something that all software companies do, and it’s reasonable to not have to have the costs of supporting software indefinitely. Mainstream support isn’t ending all support, there is still several more years of security updates.

      [*] Indeed, in many cases, there is no notion of supporting an older version – it’s not uncommon that if you want a fix, the fix is to upgrade to the latest version.

      1. “8/8.1 may not yet have the massive installbase of Windows 7, but it is still also popular by any reasonable measure”
        Lets just say we will agree to disagree.

        1. Point of fact, this is just a reminder news notification article because this has been known since Windows 7 first came out!

          10-11 years is the pre-determined lifespan of any given OS release from MS, barring complications like no replacement OS being available but MS policy is as long as two newer OS releases are available then the original lifespan plan for the OS remains unchanged and they’re right on schedule so far…

          Windows 10 will have to bomb completely for them to require an extension, like XP got an extension because of Vista and only W7 was available for many years past XP’s original termination support date…

          While the schedule separates into mainstream and extended support and right now W7 only terminates mainstream support but will continue to have extended support for the next 5 years!

          So, there’s no rush… no change in schedule… just an acknowledgement that nothing is going to prevent or cause a extension at this point…

          Really, name any other OS platform that gets longer support without someone paying a premium for the support?

          Never mind, the older OS will be less secure and as people adapt to newer hardware it will steadily lose support as time passes… regardless of what MS does… So, aside from people using closed hardware ecosystem with no need to interact with newer systems and don’t need newer hardware at all… then it’s only a matter of time before you’d have to move on anyway…

          Many other platforms have even far more rapid end of life cycles and change more radically over time… Just to put this in proper perspective…

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