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Microsoft has ended mainstream support for Windows 7 today

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Bad news for Windows 7 users: as of today, Microsoft is officially ending mainstream support for the operating system. You shouldn’t let that worry you though, as this is nothing like the complete cessation of official support that Windows XP underwent a few months ago, Microsoft simply won’t be offering free help and support for you if you have issues with Windows 7. Important security updates and whatnot are still guaranteed until January 14, 2020.

By the time that date comes around, Microsoft hopes that the majority of Windows users will have adopted the Windows iterations that have followed or will follow Windows 7, such as Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and the forthcoming Windows 10. This is all part of the Windows lifecycle system that Microsoft has been using for decades.

“Every Windows product has a life cycle,” says Microsoft on the Windows lifecycle page on its official website. “The life cycle begins when a product is released and ends when it’s no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this life cycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software.”

Unfortunately for Microsoft, there are still plenty of people out there who aren’t as ready to upgrade to the next version of Windows as the company would like. This became especially apparent during the end of the Windows XP lifecycle that took place early last year, which resulted in Microsoft having to extend its official support of the outdated operating system as more than 30% of the world’s PCs were still powered by it, and many people had no intention of switching even with the massive security risks.

Windows 7 may prove to be a similarly difficult operating system to kill off considering that it’s nearly as well-liked and Windows XP was and is extremely popular. With how poorly-received Windows 8 and 8.1 have been, at least from an adoption standpoint, it looks like whether or not Microsoft will have to fight its customers to end support for the operating system will depend on how successful Windows 10 is. I guess we’ll be able to form more accurate predictions after Microsoft’s big Windows 10 event next week.

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