Every Microsoft operating system has a mainstream support with the lifespan of five years.
That basically means that in the five years after the initial release of an operating system, Microsoft provides patches, hotfixes and other types of support for that operating system, free of charge.
One of the more popular Microsoft OS's, Windows 7, was released back in July 2009, which means its mainstream support ends in 2015.
On 13 January, to be exact.
After that, Windows 7 will enter an extended support phase, lasting another five years.
During this period, the OS will function normally. It will also receive updates to known issues, but it will not receive new features developed by Microsoft or third-party developers.
Companies and organisations running Windows 7 will receive stability enhancements only if they have an additional written agreement with Microsoft.
However, the media speculates support for Windows 7 will continue for more than another five years.
“You can also expect Windows 7 support (not mainstream though) to be continued even after five years, as the company supported its then popular OS Windows XP for close to 13 years”, writes IBTimes.
The extended support phase lasts five years, and after that there will be no more security fixes, patches and updates coming from Microsoft.
That phase is expected to last until 14 January 2020.
Since Windows 7, Microsoft has released Windows 8 and Windows 10, the latter of which is expected to hit the stores in late 2015.