Microsoft said it best:

“Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it’s no longer supported.”

Microsoft essentially offers two levels of product support – Mainstream and Extended. It’s helpful to understand the difference between the two.

Mainstream Support

This is the first phase of the product lifecycle and includes the following: Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims), security update support and the ability to request nonsecurity updates.

Extended Support

This phase follows Mainstream Support for business, developer and desktop operating system products. Extended Support includes paid support and security updates at no additional cost. Nonsecurity related updates requires Extended Hotfix Support to be purchased.

Every Microsoft product will eventually reach the end of its support lifecycle. Knowing the key dates in a product lifecycle can help you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your hardware or software.

  • Windows Vista – Extended Support ended on April 1, 2017.
  • Windows 7 – mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015. Extended Support will end in January 2020.
  • Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 – mainstream support ended in January 2015. Extended Support will end in January 2020.
  • Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard – mainstream support ended in January 2015. Extended Support will end in January 2020.
  • Windows Small Business Server 2007 Standard – Extended Support ended in 2009

So, what should you do when your Windows product reaches its end of support date?

First, it’s important to remember that, even if you have an unsupported product it will continue to work. However, you won’t be able to receive software updates from Windows Update any longer.

Unfortunately, this could leave you vulnerable to virus and other intrusions. That’s where we come in – Future Link IT can help you plan, manage and update your Windows products. Call us to find out more.

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