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.
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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.
Source: Microsoft.com

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