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Is It Over For My OS?

Saturday, February 6th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, Security Help, Windows 10, Windows 8

Jesse is a longtime reader with a question. He writes:  “I read somewhere that Microsoft will stop their support for some versions of windows in the not to distant future {I like their update} –I think XP-is the designated one to be dumped. Not sure though.  I have win 7–Wondering if my win 7 will be one of those unsupportable versions. If anyone knows–it most certainly will be” World start”. I have been receiving your tips for the last 18 yrs.”

Well I’m glad you’re receiving out tips, but I tempted to ask if you’ve been reading them. I screamed so loud and long about the end of support for Windows XP back in April of 2014 that readers were telling me to shut up about it already!  We even made this nifty graphic to commemorate the end of the line for XP. At one point, Steve told me to stop using it so much because it was depressing. But in case you missed some of our articles on Microsoft’s lifecycle policies, let’s go over them again.


Security support for Windows XP ended in April of 2014. Click here to read an article I wrote about the End of XP that I think covers the subject pretty well.

At some point Microsoft is going to stop supporting every operating system. The same is true for Apple or Linux or Android or whatever OS you choose. Nothing lasts forever, system requirements and security needs change.


Microsoft’s general rule for security and bug support is 10 years from the time of release to the public. Windows XP actually got an extra 3-year life extension to give folks time to transition.

Vista will be supported until 2017, Windows 7 until 2020, Windows 8.1 until 2023 and Windows 10 at least until 2025.

The end of support doesn’t mean the OS suddenly stops working, but I certainly wouldn’t go online with an unsupported OS. It doesn’t matter if you have a third-party security product. Nothing can fully protect an unsupported OS.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to pay to upgrade your OS. The upgrade to Windows 10 is free for users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as long as you do it by July of 2016.

A lot of folks think that after that, Microsoft may switch to a model similar to Apple’s where the upgrade to the new OS is free for home users. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed that yet.

Hope this clears things up for you and thanks for reading.

~ Cynthia

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4 Responses to “Is It Over For My OS?”

  1. Alice Bryant says:

    You so much for the information in this article. I would like to know if I am currently running windows 7 do I have to upgrade to 8 before upgrade to 10 or can I just upgrade to 10 ?

  2. JJM says:

    “The upgrade to Windows 10 is free for users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as long as you do it by July of 2016.” The upgrade is free IF IT WORKS. I have spent several days and 30+ hours trying to get my son’s Windows 7 Home Premium to upgrade to Windows 10. Although the computer was reported to be able to rum Win 10, I continuously get an install failure. I started by building an Install DVD, as per instructions and final result is a restart with nothing but a black screen with Windows Logo in the middle. Finally called MS Tech Support and after 30 minutes was told I’d be transferred to higher support BUT that was going to cost me.
    So the promise for free upgrade is going to cost d/t their faulty upgrade programming??? Sounds like a SCAM to me!!!!
    If I don’t get this upgrade accomplished – I’ll need to return Steve’s Win 10 tutorial.

    • cynthia says:

      I would suggest calling Windows Tech Support again and insist on immediately speaking to an engineer or arranging for an engineer to call you. Tell them you won’t pay for anything since Windows 10 is currently still supported.

    • rc primak says:

      If you live near a bricks and mortar Microsoft Store, the techs there will allow you to set up an appointment and will diagnose and if possible fix any upgrade issues which don’t involve unsupported hardware. This service is free.

      They did this for my ASUS Transformer Book tablet, and I ended up with a Windows 10 Pro upgrade from Windows 8.1 Home. The issue there was that the Windows 10 App Store got messed up and wrecked the Windows 10 OS itself somehow.

      Normally, an OS install or reinstall costs $49.00 at the Store, if you have a license for Windows 7, 8,8.1, or need Windows 10 to be reinstalled for a non-Updates issue. All Updates related issues are usually handled for free.

      At worst, your son’s PC is not compatible with Windows 10 Home. Be advised — Windows 7 upgrades are usually a clean install. It is probable that no data will be saved if the Microsoft Store techs do the upgrade. So back up all user data before asking for help at the Microsoft Store.

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