Goodbye Windows 7 & 8.1
Everything must come to an end. The end is here for Microsoft’s Windows 7 & 8.1 operating systems. Microsoft is moving to a more efficient all devices on one OS system with Windows 10. Windows 10 is now the only OS that OEMs (HP, Dell, Toshiba etc.) can order to put on their machines. While Windows 7 has most versions scrapped for OEMs a couple of years back, Windows 8.1 was still available.
Microsoft has already stopped mainstream support for Windows 7 but will provide extended support through to 2020. Windows 8.1 will receive mainstream support through 2018 and extended support will run through 2023.
What exactly does this ‘End of Support’ mean?
According to Microsoft, ‘end-of-support’ refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. Without Microsoft support, users will no longer receive security updates that can help protect their PCs from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal their personal information. Simply put Windows 7 & 8.1 users will be at more security risk than Windows 10 users.
Mainstream vs Extended support
Microsoft will offer mainstream support for a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product’s general availability. For example, if you buy a new version of Windows and five years later another version is released, you will still have two years of support left for the previous version.
Microsoft will offer extended support for a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product’s general availability.
Time to upgrade to Windows 10
If you had not already done so then it might be time to consider it. Windows is making some critical updates in 2017 and you will need Windows 10 to receive those. While the free Windows 10 upgrade ended in July there is still some options for you. To find out how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade read this post.
Microsoft have indicated that Windows 10 mainstream support will end in the year 2020, while extended support will go until 2025. The tech giants have made it clear that Windows 10 will be the only Windows version to be offered. Windows 10 as a Service means that the OS will simply continue to receive updates like the upcoming Creators Update early in 2017, and so support will likely simply get extended as time goes on.