Windows 7 mainstream support ends in January 2015, but it's not time to freak out yet

HP previously ran a promotion for Windows 7 during the 2013 holiday shopping season

Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is casually referred to as the next 'Windows XP' as many corporations have adopted the OS after the end of support for XP earlier this year. So when the headlines read that mainstream support is coming to an end for Windows 7, there is reason to be alarmed.

The good news here is that for users of Windows 7, you don't have much to worry about. The end of mainstream support indicates that the company will no longer build out features or deliver enhancements other than security updates. The mainstream support is typically a window of 5 years post launch, following this there is a period of extended support that lasts for an additional 5 years. In January, Windows 7 will transition into the extended support state, so your machine will be safe.

This transition typically only affects corporate entities who may need custom features built for their installations of Windows but for the consumer, there is not much to worry about.

In short, Windows 7 users don't have much to worry about from a consumer perspective. Your system will still get software patches and will be protected from zero-day vulnerabilities for at least another 5 years. 

For those of you who were XP holdouts, you will remember that Microsoft extended the support for the platform and many think Microsoft might do the same with Windows 7. The company isn't commenting on if it will extend support as the platform is only now reaching mid-life. As with any software, it's best to go by the posted life-cycle support schedules and not hedge that they may be extended.

Source: Microsoft | Via: ZDnet

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I'll continue to use Win7 till I build another new computer and even then I may consider just sticking to my Win7 Pro 64bit OEM copy cause, well its paid for. If Microsoft gave me some sorta major discount after typing in an existing product key from a previous windows version then yes I may follow their insane release schedule.

I tried WIndows 8.1 I really did!

I want to say it is a big improvement over 8. I put on aero 8, bought neowin's stardock start menu and tried to use it. There are just horrible things that kept breaking and it is still unpolished. Office 2013 was hideous too!

Windows 7 on a new system sucks. I hope Windows 9 beats it and gives mobile apps the respect on a desktop it deserves.

xbbdc said,
I think we are a small group... the only OS i ever had a problem with was Vista.

With windows 8 there are no actual problems like there were with Vista, it is just that the UI is unusable.

DaveBG said,

With windows 8 there are no actual problems like there were with Vista, it is just that the UI is unusable.

Unusable? How. My Windows 8 looks just like Windows 7. Other than moving a few things around, it looks the same.

Alvin Nukman said,
Thanks, but i'am a happy windows 8.1 pro update 1 user.

You are the tiny minority but there's nothing wrong with that, use what makes you happy.

If it wasn't for the sake of compatibility I would still be using windows 2000 today.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,
Unusable? How. My Windows 8 looks just like Windows 7. Other than moving a few things around, it looks the same.

Exactly! I have no issues at all with Windows 8, yet everyone wants to complain about the UI that they can disable or only need to use for a few seconds to find something.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,
Unusable? How. My Windows 8 looks just like Windows 7. Other than moving a few things around, it looks the same.

How do you hide the full screen start menu for example?

Microsoft have to increase the MainStream Support, mainly for their business customer till they replace Windows 8.1 with something more Work friendly..

Business users will not switch to Windows 8.1 and they want more traditional Windows PC platform compare to play friendly Windows 8.1 metro design..

Remember, many business are in Extended Extra support plans of Windows XP and many even without it..

So this is bond to extend otherwise new business PC sales may be effected !!!

I'm upgrading. There's no use in using an OS that probably isn't as advanced as Win8 anyways. Besides, I can agreely say that even though Windows 7 seems great and all, Its too easy to get bored of Windows Aero considering the gloss and all and want as different look. And for once, Windows 8.1 is that OS that I'll never get bored of, and not only is Modern UI so awesome looking that I'll never ever want to change my theme ever, but there are so many features that'll be super helpful and speculative on their future that I might never go back to Win7. I cannot wait till I get myself a Windows 8 Powered Computer Tower! Win8.1/Win9 are going to be awesome!

Edited by Sith Kree of Arrendelle, Jul 9 2014, 1:38am :

Windows 7 is the best thing Microsoft ever created IMO, and I will continue to use it for as long as possible, and yes that means all the way through 2020 if I can do it. After that, who knows...

Raa said,
Hey, if people are still using XP, why not 7 after 2020? It's not like it'll suddenly expire! :p

Because XP works fine and is superior in users mins, explorer has more features and is lighter etc

sinetheo said,

Because XP works fine and is superior in users mins, explorer has more features and is lighter etc


No disagreement there - as long as it's not on the internet.

Raa said,

No disagreement there - as long as it's not on the internet.

I am sure Dot Matrix would agree with this statement :-)

sinetheo said,

Because XP works fine and is superior in users mins, explorer has more features and is lighter etc

"lighter" is a fallacy.

br0adband said,
Windows 7 is the best thing Microsoft ever created IMO, and I will continue to use it for as long as possible, and yes that means all the way through 2020 if I can do it. After that, who knows...

While I mostly agree with you, I have high hopes for Windows 9. I think MS learned their lesson with the failure that is Windows 8....

runningnak3d said,

While I mostly agree with you, I have high hopes for Windows 9. I think MS learned their lesson with the failure that is Windows 8....


Microsoft would have never "learned their lesson" had the insane idiots not been thrown out. They kept ignoring countless complaints from users as well as developers from the beginning and all throughout AND after the release and continuous failure. With the right and most importantly sane people now in charge, it's actually possible than win9 will not be a disaster. It may even be good.

audioman said,

Microsoft would have never "learned their lesson" had the insane idiots not been thrown out. They kept ignoring countless complaints from users as well as developers from the beginning and all throughout AND after the release and continuous failure. With the right and most importantly sane people now in charge, it's actually possible than win9 will not be a disaster. It may even be good.

given Microsoft's past history the odds are it will be good if the pattern below continues...

Windows 98 = Good
Windows ME = Bad
Windows XP = Good
Windows Vista = Bad
Windows 7 = Good
Windows 8 = Bad

so for Windows 9... probably good ;)

but lets just say it's good and people give it positive reviews etc. by then Windows 7 could be that OS many people just won't let go of until they are forced to due to lack of support etc.

p.s. i know Windows 2k was good, which came before Windows XP, but it was not aimed at the mainstream public so i am not counting it even though you could use it and it worked fine with games/software etc like Windows 98 did. but i remember using that for a while (i want to say it was roughly 2-3 years i used it) as it was great having a stable OS (that you could leave running for days or weeks etc without a reboot) as at that time Windows PC's where not stable with the typical Windows 98/ME that pretty much everyone else was using those typically required reboots fairly often due to system slowly becoming more sluggish/unstable as the hours went by and you ran more programs etc.

ThaCrip said,

Windows 95 = Good
Windows 98 = Good
Windows 98 SE = Good
Windows ME = Bad
Windows 2000 = Good
Windows XP = Good
Windows Vista = Good
Windows 7 = Good
Windows 8 = Good
Windows 8.1 = Good

FTFY

mrp04 said,

FTFY

Windows 95 = Good
Windows 98 = Bad
Windows 98 SE = Good
Windows ME = Terrible
Windows 2000 = Good
Windows XP = bad at first, then was good after SP1a
Windows Vista = Good
Windows 7 = BEST!!!!! so far
Windows 8 = TBA
Windows 8.1 = Good

Extended support should last for at least 15 more years since Windows 8 brings nothing good for the desktop environment.

and have people using a 20+ year old OS? That's 2 decades... If that was applied, in comparison, people could still be running windows 95 and getting updates today...

...that would be interesting

EyEvil said,
Extended support should last for at least 15 more years since Windows 8 brings nothing good for the desktop environment.

There is everything wrong with that statement. There are many, MANY benefits of running Windows 8 on the desktop. It's too bad you can't see that.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Jul 9 2014, 12:59am :

I have one of the pc running Windows 8, it's back to normal since I bought Startisback. Also the licensing is a mess, you can't do clean install of Windows 8 OEM on a laptop if you change hdd unlike Windows 7 (Win 7 you just enter the key printed on the sticker on the laptop and activate it). I was able to key my serial number with utilities, but trying to activate it it refuses my serial. Also when you want to download a copy from MS they refuse the key I enter. This is wrong.

EyEvil said,
I have one of the pc running Windows 8, it's back to normal since I bought Startisback. Also the licensing is a mess, you can't do clean install of Windows 8 OEM on a laptop if you change hdd unlike Windows 7 (Win 7 you just enter the key printed on the sticker on the laptop and activate it). I was able to key my serial number with utilities, but trying to activate it it refuses my serial. Also when you want to download a copy from MS they refuse the key I enter. This is wrong.

You can, I've done it multiple times. You need to install the same version you're licensed for, just like with Windows 7.

Raa said,
It's not a downgrade. :)

It definitely is. The number is lower and Windows 8 has a ton of improvements.

If you really want that little start menu that bad you could just take 2 minutes and install a third party program.

mrp04 said,

It definitely is. The number is lower and Windows 8 has a ton of improvements.

If you really want that little start menu that bad you could just take 2 minutes and install a third party program.


Value is in the eye of the beholder.

It's not just about the Start Menu for me personally.

Dot Matrix said,
Brace yourselves, here come the moans ands screams of people who can't let go of AERO glass...

People like what they like, and dislike what they dont like. This is human nature and will always be. I am sure there are plenty of things you moan and scream about. Why is it such a big deal?

techbeck said,

People like what they like, and dislike what they dont like. This is human nature and will always be. I am sure there are plenty of things you moan and scream about. Why is it such a big deal?

Because some people absolutely HATE change. I'm not one of them, thankfully, I like new experiences to play with in computing, new stuff to learn :)

Dot Matrix said,
Brace yourselves, here come the moans ands screams of people who can't let go of AERO glass...

Will you be the one moaning and screaming when Metro/Modern/What ever we call it next is next on the chopping block? because you know it is inevitable

neufuse said,

Will you be the one moaning and screaming when Metro/Modern/What ever we call it next is next on the chopping block? because you know it is inevitable

Everything is inevitable.

Dot Matrix said,
Brace yourselves, here come the moans ands screams of people who can't let go of AERO glass...

You mean like how you were moaning and screaming about the UI changes for Windows 9?

Dot Matrix said,
"God dammit. I'm not upgrading of this is true. ###### that. We used to be able to have nice things, but I see that isn't the case anymore."

http://www.neowin.net/news/win...-backseat-for-desktop-users

People like what they like.

Aero Glass is quite nice and yes i'd like to keep it. If/when I upgrade, i'll be looking for a way to keep it.

No it isn't a big deal - so don't make it one. Accept people like or dislike things and move on.

Dot Matrix said,
Brace yourselves, here come the moans ands screams of people who can't let go of AERO glass...

Says the guy who proudly proclaimed he wouldn't update to Threshold because OMG MY START SCREEN.

Tidosho said,

Because some people absolutely HATE change. I'm not one of them, thankfully, I like new experiences to play with in computing, new stuff to learn :)

We hate drastic change is the main thing (i.e. Windows 8 vs all modern versions of Windows before it (i.e. basically from Windows 95 through Windows 7)) as Windows 8's interface makes doing simple things we are used to doing more of a chore which is why Windows 8 is the first OS from Microsoft i completely lost interest in and would not use it even if i got it completely free.

i just don't see a real need to change the core function of the interfaces on a PC that we had for many many years now as like i have said before Windows 8's interface is better suited for a Tablet and the like and not for someone who really wants to use their computers which basically means Desktop/Laptop users. so basically they can tweak what Windows 7 had going for it but they can't just dump it's core interface and give us Windows 8's interface which is a joke as it makes doing more simple things we have been doing for years more of a chore as it's TOO simplified for those people who don't really want to use their PC's and kind of makes it into a basic internet machine like a Tablet which i don't know about you but i see that as a major step backwards.

Dot Matrix said,
Brace yourselves, here come the moans ands screams of people who can't let go of AERO glass...

Why? I run Win8 with Classic Shell and still have Aero Glass.....

20legend said,

Why? I run Win8 with Classic Shell and still have Aero Glass.....


Classic Shell doesn't offer Aero Glass, did you use something else to get it back?

neufuse said,

Will you be the one moaning and screaming when Metro/Modern/What ever we call it next is next on the chopping block? because you know it is inevitable

... Dot Matrix sleeping in bed ... Satan appears and red flames of fire appear. HAHA YOU DOT ARE DOOMED FOR ETERNITY! HERE IS YOUR NEXT DESK ... a flaming hot chair and a pc with XP and IE 6 appear with a 28.8 modem. Now DOT enjoy your new eternity on the web!!

... wakes up screaming.

I wonder how many will buy extended hotfix support for Win7 or Server 2008. I think it is standard as part of Software Assurance.

They won't - XP was only dragged out because it was the latest version of Windows for so long, and therefore had a far longer opportunity to grow it's install base. No version of Windows before or since will have as long a opportunity.

Raa said,
They might if Win 8/9 doesn't pick up in the figures...

Agreed.

because at this point Windows 8 is following the usual trend with Microsoft... good os(Win98)/bad os(WinME)/good os(WinXP)/bad os(WinVista)/good os(Win7)/bad os(Win 8). so if that trend continues Windows 9 will be good. but i imagine Windows 9 won't be out for quite a while and by then Windows 7 i imagine will further increase it's user base.

Windows 8 is pretty much a failure at this point as it's been dissed for to long to become successful at this point. personally... i just don't like it's default interface which pretty much kills an otherwise solid OS. it's the first OS from Microsoft i never cared to use basically.

ThaCrip said,

Agreed.

because at this point Windows 8 is following the usual trend with Microsoft... good os(Win98)/bad os(WinME)/good os(WinXP)/bad os(WinVista)/good os(Win7)/bad os(Win 8). so if that trend continues Windows 9 will be good. but i imagine Windows 9 won't be out for quite a while and by then Windows 7 i imagine will further increase it's user base.

Windows 8 is pretty much a failure at this point as it's been dissed for to long to become successful at this point. personally... i just don't like it's default interface which pretty much kills an otherwise solid OS. it's the first OS from Microsoft i never cared to use basically.

There is no trend. People leave out releases to make the trend "fit" and they label Windows 8 as bad because they're too incompetent to learn it or take 2 minutes to install a start menu replacement. Vista was also fine after the drivers were stabilized (the same drivers that 7 and later use).

Didn't know they were building out enhancements for W7 recently anyways? </s>

(Note: I don't consider IE an enhancement, more of another product even though it's bundled)

Comparing the capabilities of IE8 to IE11 would probably make it an enhancement, given it's a big part of what people use on their machine (if they use IE11, or applications that consume the engine).

cluberti said,
Comparing the capabilities of IE8 to IE11 would probably make it an enhancement, given it's a big part of what people use on their machine (if they use IE11, or applications that consume the engine).

Most Windows users use another browser anyway. Besides corporations IE is so 2000s

sinetheo said,

Most Windows users use another browser anyway. Besides corporations IE is so 2000s


Still pedalling that old fallacy eh?

Vista is not that bad. I never had an issue or the hundred or so systems I had installed it on. Biggest problem with Vista was driver support but that was settled soon after the release. Next problem was the hardware requirements.

techbeck said,
Vista is not that bad. I never had an issue or the hundred or so systems I had installed it on. Biggest problem with Vista was driver support but that was settled soon after the release. Next problem was the hardware requirements.

Exactly. Especially with Vista SP1, all the driver woes were fixed.

techbeck said,
Vista is not that bad. I never had an issue or the hundred or so systems I had installed it on. Biggest problem with Vista was driver support but that was settled soon after the release. Next problem was the hardware requirements.

GPU drivers were terrible at launch. It also required a lot more RAM to run smoothly. But it paved the way for Windows 7 to be so perfectly received.

techbeck said,
Vista is not that bad. I never had an issue or the hundred or so systems I had installed it on. Biggest problem with Vista was driver support but that was settled soon after the release. Next problem was the hardware requirements.

most annoying problem was the constant disk I/O from the indexing service and prefetch service... but they at least fixed that in a later SP

techbeck said,
Vista is not that bad. I never had an issue or the hundred or so systems I had installed it on. Biggest problem with Vista was driver support but that was settled soon after the release. Next problem was the hardware requirements.

Agreed. Once the Driver issues were sorted it was fine. But hey, perception is everything and it's 'cool' to hate on Vista.

Walrush said,

Agreed. Once the Driver issues were sorted it was fine. But hey, perception is everything and it's 'cool' to hate on Vista.


I'd also like to add that Vista's DRM technologies also contributed to the negative perception (because apparently anything with DRM is considered 'evil'). Remember Peter Gutmann's article on Vista's DRM?

Simon Fowkes said,
Why would anyone want to carry on using vista?

Hardware requirements were pretty steep for it when it came out.

Now days people are like: "why would they make 512mb ram android phones" you need 1gb.

Back then 512 was mainstream. Battlefield 2 needed 512mb minimum. And Vista came out and you needed 1gb. And why would companies want to spend money upgrading hardware just to check email?

Just upgrade to 7 and be done with it. I've done a few upgrades this week alone and boy have those systems shown nearly new life - and that was an in-place upgrade!

I almost guarantee you'll notice the improvement. (Y)

techbeck said,
Vista is not that bad. I never had an issue or the hundred or so systems I had installed it on. Biggest problem with Vista was driver support but that was settled soon after the release. Next problem was the hardware requirements.

i am by far no windows fan, but i agree here. win vista was not only good, its aero desktop was also much better than win xp and it just got worse with win 7. i got me a dell inspiron 9400 or something like that and then bought windows vista ultimate oem and did not face a single problem. drivers? you could use xp drivers if there was no vista driver offered, and also that got more difficult in win7 where sometimes, it just would not allow you to install xp drivers.
so why all the vista hate? i think most users get it from just having used vista with all the preinstalled oem stuff. i also ran windows me trouble-free besides the normal dos issues but they have been there in win 98 as well so....

mrp04 said,

GPU drivers were terrible at launch. It also required a lot more RAM to run smoothly. But it paved the way for Windows 7 to be so perfectly received.

4GB of RAM is certainly not a lot. Also at that time, 4GB was becoming quite commonplace. The only issue were those trying to run it on older hardware.

The OEM's is what caused all the Vista havoc by not supporting it with updated drivers and apps. They wanted everyone to run out and spend money and buy new hardware.
They ended up loosing a lot of money. Which is why once 7 appeared they supported it properly. Since Vista and & are basically the same OS, I used Vista longer by simply installing Windows 7 drivers for my hardware.

Windows 7 is basically just Vista with a new shell and better driver support and Vista bugs all worked out.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,
4GB of RAM is certainly not a lot. Also at that time, 4GB was becoming quite commonplace. The only issue were those trying to run it on older hardware.

The OEM's is what caused all the Vista havoc by not supporting it with updated drivers and apps. They wanted everyone to run out and spend money and buy new hardware.
They ended up loosing a lot of money. Which is why once 7 appeared they supported it properly. Since Vista and & are basically the same OS, I used Vista longer by simply installing Windows 7 drivers for my hardware.

Windows 7 is basically just Vista with a new shell and better driver support and Vista bugs all worked out.

You must not be remembering it well. 4GB RAM is not a lot today, or even 4 years ago. But Vista came out in 2006. 4GB RAM was not common or even close to becoming common. I built a new computer in September 2006. I paid $275 for 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2-800 sticks. For $200 you could have bought some lower speed sticks. RAM prices quickly plummeted after Vista's release. I guess the RAM factories ramped up production too much. I bought the same set again for $90 7 months later.

The low-end computers (which sell the highest volume) were still being sold with 512MB RAM at that point. That was the official minimum for Vista but it was unusable. Vista's recommended was 1GB but that was barely useable.

Windows 7 set the minimum at 1GB and recommended at 2GB and it's lighter than Vista.

myxomatosis said,

After the SP1, Vista was quite enjoyable ;)


The only enjoyable thing about Vista is the upgrade to Windows 7.

Oh, and ultimate extras, I liked those!

Raa said,

The only enjoyable thing about Vista is the upgrade to Windows 7.

Oh, and ultimate extras, I liked those!

Hehe well.. I must admit upgrading to Windows 7 was a deliverance for some people ;)