Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Windows 7, the operating system that Microsoft simply can't kill off, has reached the first major step in its End Of Life cycle - the end of mainstream support was yesterday (13 Jan, 2015). As can be seen on Microsoft's Product Support Lifecycle page for Windows 7, this date has now been reached and we're now in the Extended Support phase. This is just like when Voyager 1 passed out of our Solar System in August 2012 and into interstellar space.
What this means is that the product will now only receive security updates - no non-security updates will be made available for Windows 7 based products (unless you have a Premier Support Agreement for Windows 7 Enterprise, which I can guarantee no small business has). This is not a nail in the coffin of Windows 7, but it does mean that the product is entering its final years of functionality. Paid support is still available for Windows 7 on a per-incident basis.
On the 14th of January, 2020 we'll have another milestone - the last day of extended (security update) support. That will be the last nail in the coffin of Windows 7 - this is what happened to Windows XP back on 8th April, 2014.
So, right now there's nothing to worry about if you're still running Windows 7 on your computers - currently computer manufacturers are still allowed to supply computers with Windows 7 pre-installed if the manufacturer still has old stock of Windows 7 licenses. But with Windows 8 and also Windows 8.1 already out and Windows 10 on the horizon, it may be time to think about the steps needed to move up to the current/next version of Windows.
The Outspoken Wookie