Microsoft recently updated its list of products that are nearing the end of their support cycles.
There were a number of expected additions to that list. One addition, however, is causing a lot of panic within the PC community.
Specifically, Microsoft lists that it will end support for Windows 7 in January 2015, which is just six months away.
Before you freak out and run to Best Buy to get a new copy of Windows 8, stop worrying! Here’s why this support deadline doesn’t matter as much as some people think:
-“Mainstream support” for Windows 7 will end in January 2015.
-Mainstream Support is basically a label Microsoft applies to its products. Products receive mainstream support for 5 years after their retail release.
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-After Mainstream Support, Windows 7 will enter a phase called “Extended Support”, which lasts for 5 years until January 14, 2020.
-While in Extended Support, Microsoft will offer security updates at no extra cost along with paid hotfix support. These updates will be downloaded for free to your Windows 7 PC with no extra changes required.
-The only changes you will not receive after January 14, 2015 are “non-security hotfixes”. You can, however, subscribe to receive those non-security hotfixes from Microsoft at an additional cost.
In other words, Microsoft isn’t going to be changing anything major about Windows 7 after January 14, 2015. Instead, it will continue offering security updates and important upgrades.
Home users will experience little difference between Mainstream Support and Extended Support. However, some businesses with multiple Windows 7 licenses may consider subscribing to an extended hotfix agreement, which must be purchased by April 15, 2015.
Should you be aware of the end-of-support for Windows 7? Yes. Should you care about it? Probably not.

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