A little over seven years ago, Windows 7 was released to the general public. As of January 14, 2017, it’s been in extended support for two full years. That means there are just three years left for the popular operating system to be supported by its creator, Microsoft.
It is never too early to plan for that next operating system upgrade. In fact, a Microsoft employee from Germany made that pitch this week as reported by ARS Technica, recommending that users plan their move early rather than later.
If you’ll excuse a little inside baseball, here’s why you Windows 7 users should consider it. Microsoft breaks their lifecycle support down for Windows into two key periods – Mainstream and Extended support. Each period runs for five years each for a total of ten years of product support from Microsoft.
The biggest difference between the two support periods? Only during the first five years can product design and feature changes be made. Security updates are provided throughout the entire ten year period. Of course, any company willing to pay can contract Microsoft to provide support beyond those ten years, but as the military learned last year, that is a very expensive endeavor.
There has been some discussion on whether or not Windows 7 might get the Windows XP treatment as it approaches its own expiration of official support in three years. You’ll remember that Windows XP support finally expired nine years after the normal decade deadline. However, I do not expect Microsoft to do that this time around.