I wanted to look at which consumer versions of Windows are currently supported. It is very important to understand when the operating system you are currently using will no longer receive updates of any kind. That will give you an idea of when you need to decide on migrating to a newer version of Windows in order to stay up to date and supported.
However, first let me explain the two five year support cycles Microsoft uses with its operating system.
Cycle One: Mainstream Support: Mainstream Support is the first phase of the product lifecycle. At the supported service pack level, Mainstream Support for products and services includes:
- Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims)
- Security update support
- The ability to request nonsecurity updates
This support cycle lasts for a minimum of five years.
Cycle Two: Extended Support: The Extended Support phase follows Mainstream Support for business, developer, and desktop operating system products.