With the constant nagging of PC users to install Windows10, a question I am often asked is how long a user can expect to receive support for their current operating system if they reject the upgrade.
This is one area where Microsoft are actually very open and public and it can be found on their Product Lifecycle information page. To quote Microsoft themselves “Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy provides consistent and predictable guidelines for product support availability when a product releases and throughout that product’s life. By understanding the product support available, customers are better able to maximize the management of their IT investments and strategically plan for a successful IT future.” Uniquely they have not only been open about it but also explained it in fairly plain English.
You can find Microsoft’s Product Lifecycle information online on their web site at:
This service will allow you to search for the lifecycle information of any Microsoft product.
The most common question asked however relates to the Windows operating system support itself so here are the dates that are currently published by Microsoft.
So what does this mean in general terms?
The key date for a home or small business user is the ‘End of Extended Support’ date. This is where Microsoft completely turn its back on a version providing no further support or security fixes. Some may remember that it did this for XP on April 8th 2014 and now anyone using XP online is open to hackers and scammers as the product is over 2 years ‘out of support’. It truly is a high risk to anyone still using XP online. (Note: Microsoft do offer support to many banks and government agencies on XP but at a very inflated cost and this is not extended to the general XP release.)
As large business and government customers rely heavily on these published dates Microsoft tend to stick to them fairly rigidly and they rarely change. Given this fact it makes me question why Microsoft are so aggressive about Windows 7 and 8 users upgrading to Windows 10 as they are already committed to supporting it until 2020 and 2023 respectively.