When Is Windows 7 "End of Life?"

The clock is ticking

Windows 7
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Microsoft will implement Windows 7 "end of life" in January 2020, meaning it will discontinue all support, including paid support; and all updates, including security updates.

However, between now and then the operating system (OS) is in an in-between phase known as “extended support.” During this phase, Microsoft is still offering paid support, though not the complimentary support that comes with the license; and continues to provide security updates, but not design and feature ones.

Why Is Windows 7 Support Ending?

The Windows 7 "end of life" cycle is similar to that of previous Microsoft OS. Microsoft states, “Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it's no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to update, upgrade or make other changes to your software.” 

Note: Even though Microsoft says it will support Windows 7 until January 2020, it was already starting to block older machines, such as those using Pentium III, in June 2018. It can block support for any machine it wants at any time, so Windows 7 users should be prepared for that eventuality.

What Does "End of Life" Mean?

"End of life" is the date after which an application is no longer supported by the company that makes it. After Windows 7 "end of life," you could continue to use the OS, but you would be doing so at your own risk. New computer viruses and other malware are being developed all the time and, without the security updates to fight them off, your data and your system would be vulnerable.

Upgrading From Windows 7

Instead, your best bet is to upgrade to Microsoft’s most recent OS. Windows 10 was released in 2015, and supports apps that can be used across multiple devices, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones. It also supports both touchscreen and keyboard/mouse input methods, is faster than Windows 7, and provides a number of other useful benefits. There are differences between the two interfaces but, as a Windows user, you’ll catch on quickly enough.

The Windows 10 downloading process is straightforward for intermediate to advanced computer users; others may want to enlist the help of a geeky friend.