Windows 7 is the most popular operating system in the world. It still runs on over 55% of the world’s computers, that’s 3x Windows XP, 6x Windows 8 and over 10x Mac OS X. But that hasn’t stopped Microsoft MSFT +0.05% today ending its mainstream support.
Two days ago the security world watched the official demise of one of the most popular Windows platforms, Windows 7. But what does it really mean and how does it impact users and organizations? Here is what you need to know:
Mainstream support vs. extended support
Leaving mainstream support does not mean that Windows 7 is dead. It simply will stop receiving new features or technology improvements. Companies will no longer receive free assistance if they have a problem with the operating system – now they have to pay.
Video About Windows 7
Windows 7 is now in the so-called “extended support” phase until January 2020. This means that, in the following five years, both regular users and companies will receive critical security patches, which is reassuring.
But the end of life process isn’t really news to anyone. Starting with the middle of 2014, analysts have voiced concerns about the imminent change and advised companies to prepare for the migration.
“The end of support for Windows 7 will be January, 2020, assuming there are no changes to its current support life cycle,” Gartner Research Vice President Stephen Kleynhans said in a PC Mag article. “While this feels like it’s a long way off, organizations must start planning now, so they can prevent a recurrence of what happened with Windows XP.”
Image Source:Alex McCabe