Tip of the Week: Find Out When Microsoft Will End Support for Your Operating System
As time goes on, operating systems grow old and eventually reach their end-of-support date that’s designated by Microsoft. When this fated day comes, patches and security updates are no longer applied to the expired operating system. To help you better plan for the future, we've compiled a list of various expiration dates for many Windows operating systems.
Before we get into the details, we feel the need to explain exactly why you need to ensure your infrastructure is being supported. If you’re not receiving crucial patches and security updates, your organization will be vulnerable to potential hacking attacks. This presents an unnecessary risk that is relatively easy to resolve if you catch the problem ahead of time. Therefore, in order to maximize the security of your infrastructure, you need to keep your operating systems up to date and compliant with the current best practices.
How Support Works Here’s a basic idea for how Windows operating system support works. Microsoft will provide mainstream support for an operating system for five years following its release. Following the mainstream support period is a five-year period of extended support. The specifics for the two can be seen below:
Mainstream support: When mainstream support ends, Microsoft stops issuing non-security related fixes unless you have a previously established extended support agreement. Warranty claims also end, and Microsoft stops accepting requests for new features or design alterations.
Extended support: When extended support ends, Microsoft will no longer issue critical patches and security updates. When this happens, your systems will be exposed to vulnerabilities that won’t be fixed. The only solution is upgrading to a more recent OS, or biting the bullet and purchasing exorbitantly expensive custom support from Microsoft.
Windows Operating Systems
Windows 10: Mainstream support ends October 13, 2020, while extended support ends October 14, 2025.
Windows 8.1: Windows 8.1’s mainstream support ends January 9, 2018, and its extended support ends January 10, 2023.
Windows 8: Windows 8 is no longer supported by Microsoft. To continue receiving patches and security updates, upgrade to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.
Windows 7: Windows 7’s mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015, and its extended support ends on January 14, 2020.
Windows Vista: Windows Vista’s mainstream support ended on April 10, 2012, and extended support ends on April 11, 2017.