A viewer responded to our reminder that Vista’s only got about another year of support left with this quesiton: “Thanks for the tip aboutVista –How long before windows 7 will be pronounced dead?
I just don’t relish downloading Windows 10 to my Win 7–I’m just not lucky enough to be able to do windows 10 to my win 7 with out encountering a problem–Seems so complicated.”
It’s pretty easy to know when support will be up for a Microsoft operating system. Microsoft offers ten years of security support from the time that operating system is released to the public.
Users of XP got a multi-year extension to that deadline. It was released in August of 2001, but supported through April of 2014.
Windows Vista was released in 2007 and will be supported until April 11, 2017. You do need to have Service Pack 2 installed to receive your security updates.
Windows 7 was released in 2010 and will be supported until January 14 of 2020. But you do need to have installed service pack 1.
Windows 8 was released in 2012, but there is no more support for Windows 8. You have to take the free upgrade to Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 will be supported until January 10, 2023.
You can extend the life of both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 by taking the free upgrade to Windows 10. Support is guaranteed for that operating system until October of 2025.
However, Microsoft may be switching to a different model for Windows. Many believe that those who upgraded to Windows 10 will continue to receive free updates as the system grows and changes, much in the same fashion that Apple updates its OS X system.
For now you can count on your Microsoft operating system to be supported for 10 years from the time of release, providing you have installed required service packs.
I will tell you that upgrading to Windows 10 is not complicated at all, assuming it goes smoothly. And despite some of the issues you’ve read about here, most of the time it does smoothly. When it does, there’s not anything at all complicated to do. You just sit back and let it do the upgrade.