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Microsoft Extends Support Lifecycle for Windows 7 and Vista

By - Source: ZDNet | B 41 comments

Microsoft has quietly updated the support time frame for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

If you're a seasoned Windows user, you probably know how support for the OS works. That is, consumers can expect five years of support for each version while businesses are offered a further five years on top of that. However, Microsoft this past weekend confirmed a change to its support policy that will see all users upgraded to the 10-year support cycle previously only afforded to commercial users.

The change was first spotted by a ZDNet reader who pointed out that Micrsoft had revised its policy and a quick search on the company's Support Lifecycle page yields new results for both Windows Vista and Windows 7 that include Extended Support end dates for the consumer versions of both. ZDNet reached out to Microsoft for confirmation on the issue and Redmond responded that yes, it had made a change to its support policy. The company further detailed that users will need to be on the most current supported service pack in order to be eligible for Mainstream or Extended Support.

"Microsoft is updating the Support Lifecycle policy for Windows desktop operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7," the company said in its statement.

"The update will provide a more consistent and predictable experience for customers using Microsoft Windows operating systems across OEM, consumer and business editions.

Microsoft still requires that customers have the most current Service Pack installed in order to continue to receive updates.

Through this update, customers who remain on the most current supported service pack will be eligible to receive both Mainstream and Extended Support, for a total of 10 years."

Prior to this change in policy, Mainstream Support for Windows Vista would have run out in April of this year. Support for all users has now been extended through to 2017. Windows 7 was originally looking at a Mainstream Support end-date of 2015. All users can now expect support to last through to 2020. Extended Support for Windows XP, which is still used by many businesses, is scheduled to end in 2014.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    kilo_17 , February 21, 2012 4:20 PM
    Good. With the way Windows seems to be heading, I'm sticking with 7 for quite some time.
  • 16 Hide
    the real mr b , February 21, 2012 6:03 PM
    Vista with SP2 is not THAT bad IMO
  • 14 Hide
    sporkimus , February 21, 2012 5:32 PM
    Smart move as most users do not upgrade their OS within 5 years of getting it. Hell, if I didn't encourage my parents to upgrade their computer, they would probably still be using Windows 98.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    mobrocket , February 21, 2012 4:16 PM
    let vista die, its begging u to pull the plug
  • 24 Hide
    kilo_17 , February 21, 2012 4:20 PM
    Good. With the way Windows seems to be heading, I'm sticking with 7 for quite some time.
  • 10 Hide
    nikorr , February 21, 2012 4:39 PM
    mobrocketlet vista die, its begging u to pull the plug

    Longer the support for the Vista, longer for the Win 7. Its needed.
  • -9 Hide
    DroKing , February 21, 2012 4:39 PM
    Im still sticking w/ my XP till i get a new rig then Im gonna dual boot w/ XP n 7 nothing else!
  • -7 Hide
    mitch074 , February 21, 2012 5:00 PM
    Does it mean that Vista will get IE10? I can hardly believe it.
  • 2 Hide
    kish20 , February 21, 2012 5:28 PM
    Hopefully MS will not regret doing this. This makes it even less compelling for customers to migrate to the shiny new Win 8 later this year!
  • 14 Hide
    sporkimus , February 21, 2012 5:32 PM
    Smart move as most users do not upgrade their OS within 5 years of getting it. Hell, if I didn't encourage my parents to upgrade their computer, they would probably still be using Windows 98.
  • 9 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , February 21, 2012 5:47 PM
    kilo_17Good. With the way Windows seems to be heading, I'm sticking with 7 for quite some time.


    That's right; I'll keep Win7 just because its logo is so much prettier :) 
  • 16 Hide
    the real mr b , February 21, 2012 6:03 PM
    Vista with SP2 is not THAT bad IMO
  • 5 Hide
    cookoy , February 21, 2012 6:32 PM
    Without the extension, it doesn't make sense for Vista to be supported up to April this year while XP lives on to 2014. For me the OS dies with the hardware it's installed on.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , February 21, 2012 6:35 PM
    Both Vista users must be thrilled at this news.
  • -6 Hide
    lahawzel , February 21, 2012 6:46 PM
    "Microsoft Extends Support Lifecycle for Windows 7..."

    Me: Wow, what great news! Did they finally realize how BS Windows 8 is?

    "...and Vista"

    Me: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-
  • -2 Hide
    d-isdumb , February 21, 2012 6:52 PM
    mobrocketlet vista die, its begging u to pull the plug

    Windows 7 is Vista with a new name and some changes, aka Vista SP2 is Win7.
    Win 7 64 is staying on my gaming rig until I am basically forced to upgrade but that will so far down the road the hardware will basically be slow and it will be time for a new rig anyway so 7 is staying on my Q9650 until it dies. Still run XP for games that will not run right under Win7 64 like Oblivion and legacy games (Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale) on a Mini Mac under Bootcamp, works great.
  • 6 Hide
    CaedenV , February 21, 2012 7:06 PM
    I really don't get why people are so tied to their OS. XP was good, Vista was acceptable after SP2, 7 has been awesome, and 8 Dev has been great as well (cant wait for Beta!). I tend to hit every 2nd version of the OS for my personal home network (98SE, XP, 7, ...9?), but once an OS is more than 5 years old then generally my computers are new enough to take advantage of the features/stability of a newer OS. Granted 7 has been rock stable (unlike previous versions)... so will I have reason to move to 9 when it becomes available? I guess only time will tell.
  • -3 Hide
    chicofehr , February 21, 2012 7:11 PM
    Right on. I can now keep Windows 7 for much longer, though I would like it if they would cut Vista off now as, its not worth the disk it comes on. I would like it if XP would stay supported, as its great for those old clunkers laying around the home. They make great download stations and music streamers for the stereo.
  • 7 Hide
    gbean02 , February 21, 2012 7:31 PM
    When I'm gaming, using Photoshop, or Open Office programs,listening to music, or watching movies, I see zero difference between my Vista and Windows7 computers. Both are solid OS's with no blue screen or crashing programs. I would like to know what the anti-Vista posters are doing that make them revile it so much. Please answer, because a thumbs down or hide my message with no rebuttal offers zero insight to your reasoning.
  • 2 Hide
    freedom4556 , February 21, 2012 7:43 PM
    chicofehrRight on. I can now keep Windows 7 for much longer, though I would like it if they would cut Vista off now as, its not worth the disk it comes on. I would like it if XP would stay supported, as its great for those old clunkers laying around the home. They make great download stations and music streamers for the stereo.

    It's not like the boxes instantaneously stop working when their OS falls off the support list. You just stop getting updates. If you really care about the security you should've updated long before then anyway.
  • 1 Hide
    Camikazi , February 21, 2012 7:46 PM
    gbean02When I'm gaming, using Photoshop, or Open Office programs,listening to music, or watching movies, I see zero difference between my Vista and Windows7 computers. Both are solid OS's with no blue screen or crashing programs. I would like to know what the anti-Vista posters are doing that make them revile it so much. Please answer, because a thumbs down or hide my message with no rebuttal offers zero insight to your reasoning.

    Did you use Vista when it first came out and before the Service Packs? Vista might be better now but it was rather bad at first. I had to deal with Vista a lot when ti first came out and I hated it, I jumped to Windows 7 as soon a the beta was released and never went back.
  • 10 Hide
    chicofehr , February 21, 2012 7:46 PM
    The reason many people hate Vista isn't necessary because it's really that bad. Its a psychological thing as first impressions are the most important. Vista had a very horrible start and was buggy and very unstable at the beginning. As a result, people like me who installed it at the start held onto that discontent and never looked at it again. I will be honest and say that I haven't used Vista since that horrible day when I installed it and was so horrified that I was forced to reinstall XP that same day. XP had the same problem too and many people held onto their precious Win 2000 till the bugs were work out of XP. The big difference with Windows 7 was it impressed people by the fact that it was stable when it was still in the beta stages which was unknown of from previous Win OS's. People like me who saw the buggy Vista days and then had a great impression from a beta OS, eternally engraved into the mind that Vista sucks, though it might not really suck. I hope this isn't too boring but its so true.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , February 21, 2012 8:17 PM
    Shows what companies that cares about its customers rather than let them to the wolves and force them to upgrade all the time!
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