Windows 7 mainstream support ends tomorrow

Microsoft will no longer offer mainstream support for Windows 7 after tomorrow. The end of mainstream support means the operating system will no longer receive new features. The company will continue to offer security updates and hotfix support.

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Starting Thursday January 13  Microsoft ends mainstream support of the 5 year old operating system. From then on the company will only offer extended support on Windows 7. The extended support stage ends at January 14th 2020 after which Microsoft will no longer offer updates and security patches.

Although Windows 7 is half way its lifecycle, the operating system is used by more than 50% of all internet users, according to research companies StatCounter and Net Applications. According to Net Applications the market share of Windows 7 increased last year, due in part of Microsoft no longer supporting Windows XP.

The end of Window XP supported resulted in more companies and consumers switching to a newer Windows version. Many companies decided to ignore Windows 8 and move to Windows 7. Despite the migration of XP users, StatCounter reported a decrease in Windows 7 users, mainly in benefit of Windows 8.1

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Market researcher Gartner warned companies in August last year to prepare for the end of support of Windows 7.  "The end of Windows 7 support seems far away, but the time between when the next version of Windows 10 may ship, and support for Windows 7 will end, is about the same timeframe as from when Windows XP support ended", said Stephen Kleynhans from Gartner.

Microsoft will also no longer offer support on other products starting tomorrow. Besides the end of mainstream support for Windows 7 the company also ends support for Virtual Server 2005, Systems Management Server 2003, Host Integration Server 2004, Visual FoxPro 9.0 and Windows CE 5.0.

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