Windows-7This past week Microsoft formally announced that mainstream support for Windows 7 will end on 13 January 2015 – just 5 months away.  Since Windows 7 is running on half of the PC’s in the world, this has major implications.

Don’t panic though – this is very different from the end of ‘Extended Support’ which is what happened to Windows XP on 8 April 2014. You will be able to continue using Windows 7 for several more years.

Microsoft is changing Windows 7 from mainstream support to extended support, which lasts for 5 years until January 14, 2020.  That’s when you need to be using a different operating system, just like what happened with Windows XP.  Not thrilled with Windows 8?  Maybe Windows 9 will be more appealing!

Here’s one more consideration if you’re planning to buy a new computer in the next year.  Sales of Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate will formally end on 31 October 2014, though a date to end sales of Windows 7 Professional has yet to be established.