Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support on Windows 7


Yesterday, Microsoft has ended the Mainstream Support for all Windows 7 distributions. Don’t worry; this isn’t the end of Windows 7’s life. Microsoft would still maintain Extended Support until January 14, 2020. That is another 5 year from today.

Client operating systemsLatest update or service packEnd of mainstream supportEnd of extended support
Windows XP
April 14, 2009
Windows Vista
April 10, 2012
April 11, 2017
Windows 7 *
January 13, 2015
January 14, 2020
Windows 8
Windows 8.1
January 9, 2018
January 10, 2023


What does it mean for Extended Support and what’s the difference between that and Mainstream Support? According to Microsoft they define the terms as follow:

  • Mainstream support—Microsoft will offer mainstream support for a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product’s general availability, or for 2 years after the successor product is released, whichever is longer. For example, if you buy a new version of Windows and five years later another version is released, you will still have two years of support left for the previous version.

  • Extended support—Microsoft will offer extended support for either a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product’s general availability, or for 2 years after the second successor product (two versions later) is released, whichever is longer.

The bottom line is that consumers who are using their Windows 7 machines will still receive regular security updates for all Windows 7 devices for another 5 years. No new feature will be added to those versions as a result. Today, Windows 7 is still the most popular Operating System from Microsoft; they account for over 56% of the entire Windows OS Marketshare. In the coming 5 years, for both consumers and Microsoft, the goal will be slowly shifting away from the dominance of Windows 7 and moving to the newer Operating System, like Windows 8.1 or the yet to be publicly released Windows 10.

For a detailed Windows 7 distribution support, see here.


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