NOBODY PANIC: Microsoft Ends Windows 7 Mainstream Support

Kate Patrick | Contributor

Windows 7 users should start looking for a new laptop now, because Microsoft just announced Windows 7 mainstream support will no longer be provided, starting in January 2015.

This statement found on Microsoft’s website defines what the company means by “support”: “End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information.”

When Windows 8 was introduced to PC users in 2012, the operating system was met with hostile reviews and an outcry of complaints from the PC universe. Many users decided to keep their Windows 7 laptops and refused to upgrade. Now, these resilient diehards might have to cave to their biggest fear: owning a Windows 8/8.1 computer.

Fortunately, PC users still have some time, according to Forbes.

“On 13 January 2015 Windows 7’s ‘Mainstream Support’ will come to an end,” Forbes reported. “That means no new Service Packs or features will be released. This is wholly different from the end of ‘Extended Support.’ Extended Support is the big one: no more security patches when hackers find holes, no performance improvements, nothing. Windows 7 Extended Support will not end until 11 April 2017.”

So as long as Windows 7 users have a Service Pack, they will be OK until 2017. But the end is nigh. Windows 7 fans won’t be able to hold out much longer — eventually they will have to expose their brains to learning the tricky navigation of the Windows 8 start panel, and play hide-and-seek with various features like Control Panel and Windows Media Player.

Right now, Windows 7 constitutes more than 50 percent of PC users, so a lot of people are going to have to figure out how to use a Windows 8/8.1 computer or else switch over to Mac. At least Apple is better at customer satisfaction.

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