Mainstream support for Windows 7 SP1 ends today

Mainstream support for the Windows 7 SP1 operating system has ended today, 13th January 2015. Extended support will however continue till January 14, 2020. What does this mean?

Windows 7 SP1 end of mainstream support

Microsoft offers two kinds of supports to the Windows operating systems:

Mainstream support, where it releases security as well as performance or maintenance updates and offers general support. Microsoft will offer mainstream support for a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product’s general availability, or for 2 years after the successor product is released, whichever is longer.

Extended consumer support where only security updates are released. Microsoft will offer extended support for either a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product’s general availability, or for 2 years after the second successor product (two versions later) is released, whichever is longer.

To see the chart depicting  difference between the difference between Mainstream Support and Extended Support, visit this page.

If you are using Windows 7 SP1, you need not bother much about this. Microsoft will continue to patch it with security updates, but it will not get performance updates or new features released by Microsoft or third-party developers.

You can still buy a Windows 7 PC at the retailers. This development will also not affect downgrade rights. You will still be able to downgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7, or from a higher edition to a lower edition of Windows 7.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com and a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. He enjoys following and reporting Microsoft news and developments in the world of Personal Computing & Social Media.

One Comment

  1. Dan

    Thanks for the reminder; to state your fine report another way, on such Windows 7 devices, it’ll also be a good idea to not update or especially uninstall now-working favorite programs (where use isn’t enforced by license code) before checking if the update version can run on now permanently “old” stuff you’ve got; for example, re FOSS, with Blender moving closer to all-OpenCL/CUDA, you can easily find just about any version that’s ever been out if you find you need to re-install one which worked for you; but say a GIMP version moving into Windows 8 and beyond wrapper code overwrites the one working now…not as easy to say “oops!” and go dredge up older versions online.

    What I myself am most interested in is how long flash players, third-party browsers and AV/HIPS security apps will continue supporting Windows 7, or Google/websites will support IE 11 for 7; for over a year, my peculiar security setup has blocked everything MS updates through today now finally do (and then some), but if I had to wait for MS to get a working patch because some AV needed a dependency Windows 7 cannot have, and browsers didn’t work…brrr, I’d just have “XP” well before 2020. Cheers!

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