As a Windows version approaches the update ending, an outcry can be expected – for Windows 7, the time has come soon. In mid-January 2020, it is over!

A look into the future: At the beginning of January 2020 you will read the message “Shock: Windows 7 is on the verge!” On news portals. No more updates! “The headline could be similar or similar, not only on technology pages, but also on normal websites. Because Windows 7 is still on many PCs used. Technically, it is outdated, but that does not matter to the users, as long as the system runs reliably. On January 14, 2020, Windows 7 receives updates for the last time – after which Microsoft discontinues support. In terms of security, it now looks bleak, malicious programs have easy play because of gaps that have not been closed. By the end of January at the latest, all Windows 7 users should switch to Windows 10.

Windows lifecycle: Official info in tables
Unharmed users are likely to chime in on Microsoft again, talk of greed for money. The group wants to buy a new operating system “every few years.” Microsoft is actually operating less nasty than you thought: Windows 7 has been on the market since 2009. And the company has been communicating for years how long which Windows vaccine receives against security vulnerabilities – so an update ending comes as no surprise.

Ten years of updates for Windows
It’s usually true that Windows receives ten years of updates – provided you install the service packs provided or, in the case of Windows 8, you install the 8.1 update. The provider distinguishes between mainstream and extended support: In the former basic support phase, it closes five years of security vulnerabilities and fixes bugs. In the following five-year extended support phase, only security vulnerabilities disappear via updates.

How long does Windows 7 get updates?
In Windows 7, mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015. Currently, the OS is in the extended support phase – and thus the last. The full update falls on January 14, 2020.

One exception: In September 2018, it was announced that Microsoft plans to offer updates to corporate customers for longer. The paid support offer is called Extended Security Updates (ESU) and provides updates until 2023. Anyone using Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise under a volume licensing agreement will receive updates beyond the usual period for a fee. The costs increase annually and are incurred per device.

Windows 10 update duration: 18 months
With Windows 10, update deployment times are shorter: A new Windows 10 released to consumers receives a relatively short 18 months of updates until it is subject to the end of support – but doesn’t matter, because a free big update comes every half year ( Feature update, technically correct: Feature upgrade). This extends support and if the hardware copes with the following Windows versions, users will theoretically receive updates for free forever. Provided Microsoft doesn’t change this “Windows as a service” strategy. For companies running Windows 10 LTSB editions of Enterprise and Education, the ten-year rule applies – private users do not get the systems out of action.

How long does Windows 8.1 get updates?
Good: Although Windows 8 no longer receives updates, Microsoft is distributing the Windows 8.1 update to its users. You install that out of the operating system. Finally, you are expected to install new updates on January 10, 2023 – after that, security decreases creeping, as with the set Windows versions XP and Vista. The two dropped out in 2014 and 2017.

Expiring update support is beneficial for Microsoft, putting users at a disadvantage: The Microsoft needs to make fewer support efforts – you’re standing there without a security security security. A security suite or firewall can’t compensate for that. In the long term, it is advisable for all users to switch to Windows 10. As long as it’s still free to be had, Windows 7 or 8 users will receive new updates at zero cost in theory forever when upgrading. Waiting with an upgrade is hardly recommended: If Windows 10 costs money for the first time, you regret not having taken advantage of the free change offer (the changeover is inevitable after the Windows 8.1, updates to the device should continue).

“New Windows gets longer updates”?
A myth says: A new Windows gets longer updates than an older one. Misleading: Correct would be “until later” – referring to systems like Windows Vista or 7. Because ten years are the rule. With Windows 10 (apart from LTSB, see above) the myth is roughly wrong: The individual operating system versions receive in each case shorter updates! However, if you add up the update individual time periods of 18 months of each version, Windows 10 wins – it depends on which angle you look at the topic.

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