Windows 7 Mainstream Support Ends - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Operating Systems
News
1/13/2015
04:05 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

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?
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

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.

Attend Interop Las Vegas, the leading independent technology conference and expo series designed to inspire, inform, and connect the world's IT community. In 2015, look for all new programs, networking opportunities, and classes that will help you set your organization’s IT action plan. It happens April 27 to May 1. Register with Discount Code MPOIWK for $200 off Total Access & Conference Passes.

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

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 4   >   >>
mak63
50%
50%
mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/14/2015 | 11:25:33 PM
Windows 10: The Next Chapter
For those of us not invited to the event, there will be a live webcast. The info about it is not disclosed yet. There will more details nearer to the date of the event.

Is anyone exited about this?
Curt Franklin
50%
50%
Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
1/14/2015 | 6:23:02 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
@Dave, you could be entirely right about the mobility play. I agree that the Metro interface is pretty good on a touch-screen device: It's just that it's pretty awful on a machine that uses the traditional mouse and keyboard to navigate.

This is, by the way, one of those areas that shows the vast difference between the customer base of Microsoft and that of Apple: Microsoft knows what enterprise training costs are like and wants a single user experience across every device of any size that is based on the Windows User Interface. Hence, the giant boatload of compromises and contradictions that makes up the Windows 8 experience across different devices.

Apple knows that its users might have only one of their devices. They also know that users owning more than one of their devices are able to devote the time and effort to learning the differences between iOS and MacOS X: What they really care about is back-end data transport and seamless compatibility between the devices. That allows Apple to better optimize the experience for the device display -- something that could vastly increase the cost of ownership for the enterprise that has to bear the total training burden for a workforce using multiple Apple devices.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/14/2015 | 6:11:05 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
@Curt, as long as business owners and users are fearful of the cost that will be required to upgrade an OS and the surrounding software environment -- older operating systems will continue to be seen. It is sad because often times the businesses or users are losing out on features that can enhance productivity and the software environment might also cost less to replace rather than, risk being trapped in an obsolete system.
TerryB
50%
50%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
1/14/2015 | 12:49:07 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
@Susan, this may add some insight for you. Believe it or not, we just had to install a copy of XP running on some VM software on a Win 7 machine. The engineer needed to use Rockwell software which works with PLC controllers on some of our mfg machines. These PLC's are decades old, so not surprising the software to interface with them has not really been fitted to newer o/s like Win 7. The cost of upgrading these PLC's is in the hundreds of thousands. The machines themselves are 40+ years old.

Life in heavy mfg. Here is another XP use case here. We have HR software called Abra from Best Software (now owned by Sage). It will not install on Win 7. Sage has upgraded version which uses SQL Server and really not that expensive ($5K range). But functionally, it does nothing new to version we have and, even worse, one of modules we use no longer exists. So HR really did not want to change. So I implemented a couple of XP virtual desktops on our TS server to run Abra only. User RDP from their Win 7 desktops to use. No internet or email is done on these virtual XP desktops, so not much of an attack vector.

Other than things like this, there is no reason to still be running XP. If your business so bad you can't upgrade desktops to Win 7, you likely won't be around that long anyway. And if your people are using internet browsing and email on XP, you have a death wish.
Gary_EL
50%
50%
Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/14/2015 | 12:47:04 PM
Re: Here's the thing
Yes, my backup machine at home is Ubuntu, also. I feel I have to maintain a Windows machine, for now at least. because every once in a while I need to do something that requires it. It will be interesting, as you say, to see what the future brings. Resentment is rising, but I wouldn't call it a groundswell as yet.
David Wagner
100%
0%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/14/2015 | 12:36:19 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
I'm going to guess some sort of flexible choice concept, but that the "choice" is not as much of a choice as people would like so they have to get used to the thing. But I'd love it if Microsoft burned the ships and said, "this is what Windows looks like now. You'll love it if you give it some time." Complaining about Windows is everyone's favorite passtime unless they are complaining about Facebook. People don't stop using either. 
Kelly22
50%
50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
1/14/2015 | 12:20:25 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
@David W, absolutely! The initial resistance to Windows 8 makes me very curious about what's coming in Windows 10... will Microsoft continue to build off the changes in Windows 8 or backtrack to include some older features. Either way, hopefully the new system will be appealing enough to encourage faster adoption.
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
1/14/2015 | 12:18:09 PM
Re: Out With the Old?
It did exactly the same thing with Vista though, so it's pretty par for the course. Vista and Windows 7 aren't that different really, but the world was ready for 7 by the time it rolled around. Hardware was more powerful and more capable of dealing with its much higher requirements on resources. Likewise, more people are used to using apps and tabs now than they were when Windows 8 was released. 

I imagine that the number of Xp users that are still around shows how long it will likely be till everyone moves on from 7, but if Microsoft's past is anything to go by, the next OS should be a lot better and may tempt a good number of them to move on. 
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/14/2015 | 11:06:43 AM
Re: Out With the Old?
@kelly22- Welcome to the club. :)

Seriously, I really do think 90% of this is resistance to change. Microsoft is making a huge gamble that we need it in whatever form it wants to provide it to us than we need to switch. It is a big gamble but one that I think could pay off in the end.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/14/2015 | 11:05:13 AM
Re: Out With the Old?
@kelly22- Welcome to the club. :)

Seriously, I really do think 90% of this is resistance to change. Microsoft is making a huge gamble that we need it in whatever form it wants to provide it to us than we need to switch. It is a big gamble but one that I think could pay off in the end.
<<   <   Page 2 / 4   >   >>
Slideshows
10 Top Cloud Computing Startups
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  8/3/2020
Commentary
Adding Fuel to the MSP vs. In-house IT Debate
Andrew Froehlich, President & Lead Network Architect, West Gate Networks,  8/6/2020
Commentary
How Enterprises Can Adopt Video Game Cloud Strategy
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/28/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Enterprise Automation: Do More with Less
In this IT Trend Report, we highlight the benefits of automation and the various tools as enterprises navigate turbulent times, try to do more with less, keep their operations running, and stay on track with digital modernizations.
Slideshows
Flash Poll