Microsoft ends free ‘mainstream support’ for Windows 7

Microsoft has ended free mainstream support for the Windows 7 operating system as of today.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, if you’re running Windows 7 and encounter some manner of issue, you won’t be able to contact Microsoft and get the company’s help in solving the problem.

It’ll be down to you, basically, or you’ll have to pay to get Redmond’s assistance.

Note that this doesn’t mean Microsoft is ending support for the operating system in terms of patches and security updates – those will continue to be delivered for the next five years, until January 2020 when extended support finishes, the Telegraph reports.

And you’d certainly hope this was the case given the number of folks still running Windows 7, which is the majority following Windows 8’s lacklustre adoption due to the modern UI, touch capabilities and all that desktop-ruining jazz (some of which has been corrected at this point, but the damage is effectively done until Windows 10 now, which should emerge this autumn).

Windows 7 hit shelves back in 2009, following Windows Vista which was widely detested – and that was one of the reasons why Windows 7 saw such a lot of uptake. We may well see a similar situation with Windows 10, providing Microsoft can distance it enough from Windows 8 (maybe that’s the idea with skipping Windows 9).

Windows 8 mainstream support will be cut off in January 2018, if you were wondering when that’ll happen.