Last week Microsoft announced extended support for “Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing” through January 2023. “Volume Licensing” means businesses, not home users. Home users will be EOLed on January 14, 2020.
This will leave users with either Windows 8.1 that nearly nobody wants, or Windows 10 that many people don’t want. I’m not all that sure anyone wanted either one to begin with. A Windows 7 Service Pack 2 would have done nicely. Never the less, here we are.
Windows 7 support for home users will end over 10 years after it was released. We whined when they stopped supporting XP, an operating system that they supported for nearly 13 years. But, to be fair to Microsoft lets look at some other operating systems:
(Dates are best I could find, if you have a correction please post it.)
macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) Oldest supported Mac OS, Released in 2015
iOS – oldest supported phone (iPhone 5S – September 20, 2013) = approx 5 years old
Linux varies wildly by vendor but here is my best estimate:
Kernel 3.X EOL 2015-16, 3.5 to 4 years after initial release
Kernel 4.X initial release was 12 April 2015 and is current.
There is a kernel branch called LTS that differs from the above. These “”longterm maintenance” releases have varying expiration dates.
Individual vendors set there own schedules and can often range up to 6 years. The latest Linux Mint LTS release is 19/Tara was released June, 2018 and is supported until April 2023, just shy of 5 years.
Android support is an unmitigated disaster. There seem to be no rules at all. As far as I can tell most phones stop getting updates about 3 years in.
You can see that Microsoft supports their operating systems a long time. Longer than anyone else. Still, for us Windows 7 lovers, end of support will truly suck. From Microsoft’s viewpoint maintaining 3 desktop operating systems is difficult, I get that. But the thing is, they are going to keep maintaining it for businesses anyway. Leaving home users out of the loop seems to be a cold blooded money grab. It is, IMHO, a big middle finger to everyone at home using Windows 7.