Windows 7 users warned end of mainstream support deadline is nigh

Windows 7 users have just six months of mainstream support left, as Microsoft's product lifecycle patterns rumble on

Windows 7 sales

Microsoft has moved to gently remind end users about its impending plans to cease mainstream support for a number of its products, including the much-loved Windows 7.

The software giant has issued comprehensive guidance detailing a wide range of products that are set to transition from mainstream support to extended support within the next six months.

When a Microsoft product exits mainstream support, typically five years after going on general release, the software will still be eligible for access to paid security updates and paid tech support.

However, the vendor will no longer accept any design changes to the software or new feature requests from users.

Extended support for Windows 7 is due to commence on 14 January 2015, and is expected to last for a further five years until at least 14 January 2020.

This applies for all versions of the software, from Windows 7 Enterprise and Professional to its Starter editions.

According to the most recent figures from NetMarketShare, Windows 7 is installed on just over 50 per cent of the world's desktops. Meanwhile the combined marketshare for Windows 8 and 8.1 the operating system's successors - stands at 12.54 per cent.

Therefore, Windows 7 might be forgiven for thinking Microsoft might look kindly on them and push back the end of extended support date for the OS just like it did with Windows XP around the time of Vista's release.

So far, Microsoft has made no indication that delaying the end of extended support for Windows 7 could happen. But in light of the lacklustre take up of Windows 8, it wouldn't be hugely surprising if it did.

That being said, given the difficulties it's encountered with trying to get XP users to upgrade to a newer OS, and the reports that Windows 9 could be arriving in 2015, there's every chance Redmond won't be feeling as charitable towards Windows 7 by the time 2020 comes around.

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