So long, Windows 7. After six years, Microsoft has started phasing out this version of its desktop operating system.
Independent security analyst Graham Cluley points out that “mainstream support” for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 has just ended, according to this Microsoft webpage. However, if you bought a PC with this version last October, when the last Windows 7 consumer computers shipped, don’t despair: At least extended support will continue for another five years.
Microsoft explains that extended support covers critical security updates, so current users will still be able to receive those. Mainstream support covered those patches along with new features and free technical support.
Extended support for Windows 7 will expire on January 14, 2020.
Launched on July 22, 2009, Windows 7 replaced the much maligned Windows Vista, criticized for being slow and bloated. Microsoft ceased individual sales of the software in 2013, and the last consumer computer with it preloaded shipped last October.
Lead photo by Brent Schmidt; screen capture of Microsoft website by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite