Don’t believe everything you read: Windows 7 isn’t dead

There are plenty of headlines this week that are trying to shock and scare IT by screaming that Microsoft has ended support for Windows 7. That’s not actually true – but the OS has reached a milestone. 

As of January 13, Windows 7’s mainstream support is over. It’s now moved into extended support. That in and of itself doesn’t mean much for IT.

Mainstream support essentially means that Windows can receive design and feature updates in addition to security updates. Extended support still provides security updates, and Windows 7 will remain in extended support until January 14, 2020.

Essentially, we’ve only reached middle age for Windows 7.

Windows of opportunity

Many organizations aren’t wild about Windows 8.1. But right now, with Windows XP left for dead and Windows 7 not being included on new equipment, it’s essentially the only option for new equipment (unless you go with a non-Windows OS or purchase it separately).

The 55% of organizations that are currently on Windows 7, will have about a year’s wait to make a decision. Windows 10 is expected to be announced sometime in 2015 and ship by year’s end. So the earliest IT can get hands-on with the next OS, let alone determine if it has any difficulties with current software or services will be a bit of a wait. But the decision won’t have to be made until closer to 2020.

For those who are on Windows 8.1 and are really itching to get off of it, the urgency might be a bit greater. But without having seen the operating system yet, even deciding to switch could be premature. Only time will tell.

But in the meantime, don’t panic: Windows 7 is still here for another five years, if you want it.

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