Support Deadlines for Windows 7

by ronfluegge 8. July 2014 12:26

As the second half 2014 rolls in, Microsoft is stepping up its warnings for approaching support deadlines for some of its key products, including Windows 7.

A few definitions worth knowing: Mainstream support is the typically five-year period when Microsoft provides free patches and fixes, including but not limited to security updates, for its products. When a product exits the mainstream support phase, Microsoft continues to provide a period (also often five years) of extended support, which means users get free security fixes but other types of updates are paid and require specific licensing deals.

"End of support" means there will be no more fixes or patches -- paid or free, security or non-security -- coming for specific products. (There are some temporary workarounds, as Windows XP users have discovered, but as a general rule, end of support means, for most intents and purposes, the end.)

Mainstream, free support is ending on January 13, 2015 for a number of major Microsoft products, including all versions of Windows 7 (Enterprise, Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate and Starter). Extended support for Windows 7 lasts until January 14, 2020, so users can expect to continue to receive free security updates, but not feature updates, for Windows 7 until that point. For those running Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 applied, the end of mainstream and extended support dates are the same -- January 13, 2015 and January 14, 2020, respectively -- given there is no Windows 7 SP2.

Some industry watchers have speculated that Microsoft will end up pushing out Windows 7's support dates the way the company did for XP, given Windows 7's popularity and pervasiveness, but so far, there's been no word from Microsoft officials that this is the plan.

Support for Office 2010 with Service Pack 1 ends on October 14, 2014.

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