Microsoft released the Windows 7 operating system in October 2009, roughly three and a half years have passed since then and it may come as a surprise to many that the first Windows 7 product is nearing its end of support date already. In fact, its support date ends before Windows XP support will end. How this can be? Lets find out.
Support for the Windows XP operating system ends about 14 months from today in April 2014. It is the end of the product's extended support date after which support for the product is not offered anymore. This includes the release of security updates and other updates which won't be produced and released anymore for these versions of Windows.
When you look at the support table for Windows 7 you will notice that mainstream support for all versions ends in January 2015 and that extended support ends in January 2020. But that does not include Windows 7 RTM which will expire as of April 9, 2013. You may ask yourself why it is expiring that early and the answer is revealed when you look at how service pack releases alter support end dates.
The support lifecycle of a product ends 24 months after a service pack for it has been released. The service pack in this case takes the place of the product so to speak and support will either expire at the product's support lifecycle end or 24 months after the next service pack release whichever comes first.
This means basically that Windows 7 RTM's support lifecycle ends in less than two months from today, and that support for Windows 7 with service pack 1 installed will take over the support end dates of the product. This leaves us with the following extended support end dates:
- April 9th, 2013: Windows 7 without service pack
- April 8th, 2014: Windows XP SP3
- April 11th, 2017: Windows Vista SP2
- January 1st, 2020: Windows 7 SP1
- January 9th, 2023: Windows 8
Windows 7's mainstream support ends on January 13th, 2015 and Windows 8's mainstream support on January 9th, 2018. The difference between mainstream support and extended support is the following:
- Mainstream support: request to change product design and features, security updates, other hotfixes, complimentary support, paid support
- Extended support: security updates and paid support
What this means? Windows 7 users need to make sure to have the first service pack for the operating system installed so that they will continue to receive updates for the operating system.
You can check out the lifecycle of any Microsoft product on this page.Enjoyed the article?: Then sign-up for our free newsletter or RSS feed to kick off your day with the latest technology news and tips, or share the article with your friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ using the icons below.