First Windows 7 version nearing its end of support date

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 15, 2013

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.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Tony V said on February 19, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Windows 8, for those of us that have been using mouse and keyboard for the last twenty-five years, is nothing but a tedious navigational nightmare. Even unadorned MS-DOS was a more logical route than Win8. Sure, we can learn this “all-purpose” novelty over time – but to master it requires unlearning 20 or 30 years of accumulated and logical habits and replacing that knowledge with randomized chaos.
    This Christmas I bought two new systems to add to my arsenal – a desktop with Win8 pro, and a laptop with Win8 home. But the more I dig into this nonsensical system , the more I hate it. Sure, I can hack the systems to mimic Win 7, but why bother?
    If ever I want oversize cutsie “live tiles” with resource hogging and completely inefficient “Apps” – I can go to the Apple or Google store and buy their wares.
    Microsoft is digging it’s own grave with this system.
    As for my two new computers? – they both fortunately have i7 processors so I have dedicated them to BOINC grid computing. Set and forget… Even if used as a media center, Win8 is an inefficient waste.
    I’ll stick with Win7 on my other machines until they burn out and parts become unavailable. – with or without Microsoft’s monthly patches.

  2. Ken Saunders said on February 18, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Ok, So I have Windows 7 Ultimate with SP1.
    What exactly am I losing for Service Pack Support on 4/9/2013?

    Lifecycle Start Date
    Mainstream Support End Date
    Extended Support End Date
    Service Pack Support End Date

    Martin, you use Windows 8. Is this the new Vista? I have no desire to use Metro anything. I don’t and won’t upgrade for a long time. There’s no need to. I’m just curious.
    Firefox is barely supported for 8 (metro).

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 18, 2013 at 2:46 am

      If you have SP1 installed you can enjoy Windows 7 for the next seven or so years. To be honest, I do not think Windows 8 is the new Vista, it is better than that even though it is different from previous systems and I do not really like where Microsoft is heading with that two-interface operating system.

      I have been working with W8 on my second PC ever since it got released and it is quite easy to ignore the start screen interface. It is not an ideal situation though.

  3. Dan said on February 16, 2013 at 2:11 am

    So, what happens after April 09, 2013, for cases like my laptop which only allow pre-installed Windows 7 Home Premium from maker’s partition to load on C:? If one in such case has to clean reinstall, they’ll only get the 2009 edition with IE 8, obviously no SP1, and if SP1 is requisite to get ANY updates… . Is it possible to download/store updates from day 1 through SP1?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 16, 2013 at 3:06 am

      Dan, the patches for the RTM version of Windows 7 will remain available so that you can indeed update to SP1 when you reinstall.

      1. Dan said on February 16, 2013 at 3:35 am

        Thanks for your answer, and for being so quick!

  4. Wayfarer said on February 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Happily, it sounds as though Win7 users have while to go yet. Happily because – always a great fan of XP – I find Win7 to be a decent successor (which is more than can be said for what came between.) Most Win7 users have SP1 I’m sure, and I’m not sure I have much sympathy for those who don’t.

    But if MS’s intention is to push us all to Win8 then they’re in cloud cuckoo land. After trying Win8 on a mate’s PC, I swore I never touch it. But I’m retired, disabled and occasionally bedbound. Courtesy of a recent birthday and kind family who clubbed together, I’m now the proud owner of a nice little Fujitsu laptop I can use even when largely horizontal.

    But it came with Win8. “Does it make a difference?” they asked. What can you say when people have been so kind? Of course, you answer – not at all.

    So for 3 weeks I’ve slogged away, reasonably confident that if I tackled the learning curve, Win8 would eventually win over my luddism. I might even be converted enough to install Win8 on my desktop too.

    No chance. I’ve given Win8 my best, but after weeks of effort I hate that bloody OS. IMHO, it has no place on a PC that has to do real work – and though retired I do enough for local organisations to qualify as work. I’ve installed all sorts of stuff to make Win8 look more like Win7, but in comparison I still find Win8 sluggish and tiresome. It’s for kids with touchscreens, not people with real work to do.

    So – just as soon as I’ve defeated that damn Secure Boot affair (which I’m convinced is far more to do with restrictive business practice than security) – my laptop will be going over to Win7.

    My desktop PC currently dual-boots to Win7 and Ubuntu (dual-booting being something else MS seem determined to prevent) which I use about 50-50 these days. If I can get Win7 onto my laptop, I may just give the desktop over to Linux once and for all.

    I’m not anti-MS (or I wasn’t up to now) – I still think XP was the best OS of all time. If MS had either developed it or at least allowed it to go open source, I suspect by now even Linux might be struggling.

    I expect an OS to be an enabler for the computer user. MS seems intent on pushing us towards an OS that’s little more than a front-end for corporate product placement. Win8 certainly has no place in the workplace.

  5. ilev said on February 15, 2013 at 11:28 am

    By 2014 XP will still hold ~40% of Windows OS in enterprise (~25% worldwide). Microsoft will be forced to extend XP support again.
    Enterprise doesn’t rush to Windows 7. ~60% are still on XP. 80% aren’t interested in Windows 8 and will skip the OS.
    If Windows Blue/9 won’t bring a clean, no Metro, OS, enterprise will skip it as well.

    1. Yb said on February 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      The only reason enterprise won’t update from Windows XP, is because they feel that doing so would break their legacy software that is attached to Internet Explorer 6. And they believe it would cost too much to do so. It actually cost more to continue to use an old 10+ year old system that is getting older with each passing day. Software must keep up with hardware, and vice versa, not the other way around.

      If enterprise’s don’t want to grasp this concept, then their business will suffer because of it.

  6. Coyote said on February 15, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard
    The support date for this product package is determined by its individual component product’s respective support lifecycles. Please review the individual component product’s support lifecycle to determine its length of support.

    Well that was helpful…

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.