Windows 7 was developed by Microsoft as early as 2006 but was released on July 22, 2009.
It was intended to be an upgrade to its predecessor Windows Vista which was facing criticisms over its performance.
Windows 7 came with new features like libraries, file sharing system HomeGroup, and support for multitouch and new management features.
It also had updated versions of Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Center.
Windows 7 was praised for these major improvements, its major improvements and for its intuitive interface.
Just six months after its release, over 100 million copies had been sold worldwide.
But now it has to give way, come January 13, 2015, the free Microsoft support for Windows 7 will come to an end. This is according to Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO.
He warned customers that Microsoft will end free mainstream support for Windows 7, and this will cover all versions of Windows 7.
And what does this mean? It means that there will be no more performance improvements and updated features unless you are covered by the extra extended support.
In essence this means the security patches will continue even after the mainstream support ends through to 2020, but design changes, no-charge incident support and warranty claims will end. That is what Microsoft has promised.
This will greatly affect individuals, but businesses that pay for extended support for Windows 7 will continue to get updates for another five years, up to January 14, 2020.
Since Windows XP support was stopped, many businesses have been upgrading to Windows 7, and this period will give them enough time to adjust again.
There are also some speculations that Microsoft might change its mind as the date nears to continue supporting Windows 7 as it did with Windows XP. Windows 7 is very popular with consumers and they are very hopeful that its support will be extended a bit longer. Windows XP was supported for about 13 years.
But the extension does not seem likely since windows 8 includes full version of Windows 7 in the desk top mode. Windows 8.1 also allows users to run a Windows 8 machine in the desk top mode and even avoid the confusing Windows 8 part of the operating system.
Microsoft will have to lure customers to buy Windows 8 machines. With more Windows 8 machines, more developers will want to write software for it which in turn will make people want to buy it.
It is worth noting that Microsoft has also set the end of the mainstream support for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 for January 9, 2018.
This is a strong indication that Microsoft might release another version of Windows by 2015. The new version, sometimes referred to as Windows 9, is code-named “Threshold”.
Withdrawing mainstream support for the versions doesn’t mean they will stop working. They will only be vulnerable to malware attack and that’s why it will be prudent to upgrade.
Let’s hope that anti-virus developers like avast! will continue to protect Window 8 and Windows 8.1 as they are currently doing for Windows XP.