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Friday, November 2, 2018

What It Means When Microsoft Stops Supporting Your Version of Windows

Microsoft only supports each version of Windows for so long. For example, Windows 7 is currently in “extended support” until January 14, 2020, after which Microsoft will no longer support it. Here’s what that means.

No More Security Updates

When Microsoft stops supporting a version of Windows, Microsoft stops issuing security updates for that operating system. For example, Windows Vista and Windows XP no longer receive security updates, even if substantial security holes are found in them.

On January 14, 2020, the same will be true for Windows 7. Even if people discover huge security holes that affect Windows 7, Microsoft won’t issue you security updates. You’re on your own.

Sure, you can run antivirus tools and other security software to try protecting yourself, but antivirus is never perfect. Running software with the latest security updates is important, too. Antivirus is just one layer of defense. And even security programs will gradually drop support for older versions of Windows.

Microsoft will keep making security updates for Windows 7, even though you can’t get them. Large organizations can sign “custom support” contracts to keep getting security updates for a period while they transition to a new operating system. Microsoft ratchets up the price going forward to encourage those organizations actually to move to a new version of Windows. The same thing happened with Windows XP.

RELATED: Microsoft is Still Making Security Updates for Windows XP, But You Can’t Have Them

Software Companies Stop Supporting It, Too

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