Windows 7 Mainstream Support Ends - InformationWeek

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1/13/2015
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Windows 7 Mainstream Support Ends

Microsoft ends free support and feature updates for Windows 7, but promises to continue fixing security flaws until 2020.

Microsoft Office Mobile: Right For You?
Microsoft Office Mobile: Right For You?
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Microsoft is pulling the plug on mainstream support for Windows 7 Service Pack (SP) 1. It's not exactly welcome news, but it's not as bad as it sounds.

As Windows 7 transitions from mainstream support into a period of extended support, users will lose the benefits of free incident support, warranty claims, design changes, and feature requests. In addition, the OS will not receive any significant updates going forward.

Microsoft will continue to provide free security updates for its products through extended support, so Windows 7 devices will continue to receive notifications and fixes when security flaws are discovered. This support is expected to end on January 14, 2020, when Microsoft shuts down Windows 7 for good.

The end of mainstream support for Windows 7 comes five years after its launch in October 2009. It was a welcome upgrade to Windows Vista and is still often preferred by those who aren't used to the Windows 8 interface.

[Is Google playing fair? Microsoft Protests Bug Disclosure By Google]

In April 2014, Microsoft announced its intentions to end mainstream support for Windows 7, which was supplanted by Windows 8 in 2012. Microsoft took bigger steps to phase out Windows 7 on October 31, 2014, when it stopped selling consumer versions of the OS to equipment manufacturers.

Business computers running Windows 7 are still available to customers. Microsoft has not announced when Windows 7 Pro will no longer be sent to retailers or manufacturers, but has said it will give one year's notice prior to that date, according to ZDNet.

Even after the releases of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, Windows 7 continues to hold more than 50% of the global operating system market share. Users who want to receive security updates past the 2020 deadline will need a newer operating system.

The next wave of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 10, is due to premier in mid-2015. Those looking forward to learning about what Microsoft has in store should mark their calendars for January 21, when further announcements are expected at Windows 10: The Next Chapter in Redmond, Wash.

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
1/22/2015 | 11:51:34 AM
Re: Out With the Old?
@Gary_EL,

Google's trying with the Chromebook. The real issue is that many large organizations continue dealing with Microsoft because that's the standard. If any rival can truly make an OS that supports the long list of business applications and satisfies their users, it may work. I honestly don't see it happening. Also, don't forget about those lengthy maintenance contracts as well.
pcharles09
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50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
1/22/2015 | 11:49:42 AM
Re: Out With the Old?
@David W,

I agree with the printers, but also XP. I mean not that much changed between XP & Win 7 from a Power User's level. A lot of things are easier. It's MUCH better from an admin standpoint too!
pcharles09
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50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
1/22/2015 | 11:48:29 AM
Re: Out With the Old?
@David W,

The "getting used to it" part is the hardest. Most people just keep telling themselves "Why did they have to change this, now I can't find it...". Then they give up in frustration.
pcharles09
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50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
1/22/2015 | 11:47:06 AM
Re: Out With the Old?
@Susan_Nunziata,

1. Fear of change/Having to learn new things

2. $$$
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/15/2015 | 4:05:56 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
Great point about security @Curt, I feel that often times it is the small business segment that finds it difficult to appraise the benefits of an upgrade and since, small businesses don't have a specialized security team, this can create great problems because a security lapse can bring a business to a complete stand-still. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2015 | 3:24:39 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
@Curt- I'm tempted to say something silly like "If Steve Jobs were still alive" he'd have solved this. :) I guess what i really need is for someone to hurry up and give me my brain implant computer so I can interact directly with it. I'll probably still complain about the "thought interface." :)
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2015 | 3:22:29 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
@Dave, I think the iOS interface won't work on the desktop systems because they're designed for very different things. The user interface debates remind me a lot of some of the "integrated systems/best of breed components" arguments that have rocked networking, systems engineering, and other tech areas for years. In most ways, it's just a question of where the customer's priorities lie.

I'm one of the people who's entirely happy with two different (but related interfaces). As long as the back-end integration is seamless, let each type of device have the interface that works best. So far, it's a strategy that seems to be working for the folks in Cupertino.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2015 | 3:05:03 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
@Brian, you're absolutely right about the features businesses are missing by sticking with old operating systems. The things that worry me even more, though, are the security advances that they can't take advantage of. I know that there are companies that have come out with rather kludgy work-arounds for network security involving WIndows XP (and even older systems), but they are inefficient and brittle, at best.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2015 | 1:02:29 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
@Curt- I actually assumed that the reason for the different experiences on iOS were because Apple was never able to make the clunky iOS interface work on MacOS. When iOS first came out it was amazing. Now, to me at least, it looks so out of date and illogical. I keep expecting Apple to come out with a cross platform interface any day now, but it is possible the design team there is plum out of ideas.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
1/15/2015 | 9:32:54 AM
Re: Here's the thing
For pure development and technical work, you may not need Windows. But for office things, you need to have Windows at lease for the moment. MS Office is available on Mac but many users still feel that Windows is easier to use.
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