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Microsoft doubles Windows 7, Vista lifespan

Microsoft doubles Windows 7, Vista lifespan

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users can rest easy, with Microsoft doubling the support period for both ahead of Windows 8's launch.

Microsoft has slipped out an unannounced treat for those planning on delaying upgrading their operating system when Windows 8 is released: an extension to the support lifespan of Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Surprisingly, the change to the support schedule for Microsoft's current-generation and last-generation operating systems came out of the blue. There has been no official press release, no note on any of the usual Microsoft blogs and even retailers are claiming to have been caught by surprise.

The move has, however, been confirmed by Microsoft as genuine when news of the change leaked courtesy of ZDNet yesterday. 'Microsoft is updating the Support Lifecycle policy for Windows desktop operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7,' the company told the site. Prior to that confirmation, the only clue was a message posted on Microsoft's Japanese site.

The changes are designed, it appears, to bring the consumer editions of Windows in line with the corporate editions. While retail and OEM consumer-grade Windows releases get a five-year support lifespan, business and server releases get a ten-year support schedule designed to lessen the impact of moving to a new platform.

Under the new changes, the home releases of both Windows 7 and Windows Vista will now qualify for the additional five-year 'extended support' period previously restricted to the business-oriented releases. As a result, those still running Vista get a reprieve: the original schedule would see support for the operating system end in April this year. Under the new scheme, all editions of Windows Vista will qualify for extended support until 2017 while Windows 7 will be supported until 2020.

The move could be seen as a 'long game' for Microsoft: while it's betting heavily on the success of Windows 8, its smartphone-inspired and touch-heavy 'Metro' user interface could leave some turned off. As a result, adoption of the new platform outside mainstream PC sales is likely to be slow at first until the Metro UI can prove itself. By extending its support lifespan, Microsoft is clearly hoping to keep both its home and business users happy.

49 Comments

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Bauul 21st February 2012, 13:16 Quote
Definitely sounds like MS are hedging their bets with Win8. There are still huge numbers of less involved users who are still with XP, the last thing MS want is Win8 scaring them off from ever upgrading.
proxess 21st February 2012, 13:29 Quote
But why Vista as well?!
modfx 21st February 2012, 13:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
But why Vista as well?!

This.
SchizoFrog 21st February 2012, 13:39 Quote
I think you'll find that as Vista and 7 are so much alike under the hood people would complain if they dropped Vista support when the updates are basically compatible between the two so it just makes sense to extend the support for both.
SchizoFrog 21st February 2012, 13:41 Quote
Personally I'll keep running my Win7 as I can't be bothered to completely set up a new system again so I will most likely partition my HDD (1.5TB) and dual boot with Win8 as well, and see how I get on with it.
----jimbo---- 21st February 2012, 13:46 Quote
Meanwhile Apple drops support for all Macs without a dedi GPU and pretty much all Macs over 4 years old.
Madness_3d 21st February 2012, 13:48 Quote
I guess a patch for 7 is a Patch for Vista, so they might as well
chrismarkham1982 21st February 2012, 14:03 Quote
^This.
Blademrk 21st February 2012, 14:08 Quote
Good, Not sure if I'll upgrade to 8 or not, I'm not keen on the Metro interface.
SighMoan 21st February 2012, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blademrk
Good, Not sure if I'll upgrade to 8 or not, I'm not keen on the Metro interface.

Exactly the same. I have no interest a touch screen GUI/Metro for my desktop PC, so have yet to come across any reason why i would want to 'upgrade' to Win 8. (Unless the upgrade path is about £20, which we all know it won't be.)
damien c 21st February 2012, 14:28 Quote
I will try the beta of Window's 8 just, as I did with Window's 7 and decided to get it because it was better than Vista.

I never had problems with Vista and to be honest it ran better for me than XP did but, at the time I did prefer XP.

This extra support time is only a good thing really if you don't upgrade your OS when a new one is released or don't need to upgrade it all the time.

All I can say though is it's about time they did it, but I wonder if it means that they will start expecting us to pay more for Window's when we buy it.
feathers 21st February 2012, 14:28 Quote
I have a feeling Win 8 is going to **** and so they realise many people will complain and stick with win 7. Rumour circulating that MS want to kill off desktop PC, I'd rather see MS dead before that happens.

Windows 8 metro interface is basically windows media center as a desktop yes? Well although I think media center is nice to look at, it is really more of an idiot interface. Something that would appeal to console users. I very rarely use media center for playing media so having it replace desktop is not appealing.

Apparently you can opt for win 7 interface from what I've read albeit with some limitations. I don't know, perhaps win 8 will work out ok but it wouldn't be the first time MS produced a failure (windows millenium?).

I liked Windows vista and for me it was such a relief after the unstable and unreliable windows xp.

Can't say I'm looking forward to win 8.
deadstoned 21st February 2012, 14:32 Quote
I like everything in Windows 8 except Metro and with rumors it cant even be disabled in Windows 8, I'm certain I wont buy Windows 8 unless it ships with a start menu. The Metro design just isnt designed well for mice and keyboard, its completely touch oriented.
KidMod-Southpaw 21st February 2012, 14:39 Quote
Thank God!
I hated Windows 8 from the second I saw it, so this is a big relief for me, especially as I'm using OEM WIndows 7.
proxess 21st February 2012, 15:04 Quote
I don't want no blinkin metrosexual interface full of mardigras colouring.
Spreadie 21st February 2012, 15:06 Quote
It's not really that surprising, is it?

We had XP for around eight years and, personally, I'll be damned if I don't get six or more from Windows 7. I doubt I'm the only one who thinks that way.
l3v1ck 21st February 2012, 15:20 Quote
Suits me. I plan to stick with Windows 7 for even longer than I stuck with XP (and that was a long time).
Panos 21st February 2012, 16:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
But why Vista as well?!
Vista SP2 (from the box installation not patched) is as good as W7.

Consider this, W7 seems going to be the OS that will run in 2 decades. (2001-2020).
If we think about it, is more than the official lifespan of any other MS OS. Second though to XP :)
schmidtbag 21st February 2012, 16:32 Quote
good. i tried windows 8 and i found it to be terrible. even for a tablet, the metro interface is unsuitable. also, explorer does not need the ribbon bar.
fingerbob69 21st February 2012, 16:40 Quote
Win7 is the new XP for most ppl... it just does it all ...with the minimum of fuss.... so no need to change.

Win8 will fail, if it fails that is, due to the fact that it is a tablet/phone touch interface first and a desktop second.
Bauul 21st February 2012, 17:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ----jimbo----
Meanwhile Apple drops support for all Macs without a dedi GPU and pretty much all Macs over 4 years old.

Truth. I was helping neighbour install a bunch of basic software on a 2005 Mac she'd bought second hand, running OS X Leopard.

Silly me presumed that, like a PC, basically all software would work as long as the hardware had enough grunt. How wrong was I? It was a bloody nightmare to work with. Seriously unimpressed with Apple.
rogerrabbits 21st February 2012, 17:24 Quote
Are we 100% sure that it is really a touch interface first, desktop second? I assumed it was pretty capable of satisfying both.

I agree about the new XP thing though. I'm on win7 now and I love it. I would upgrade for a small price but then again, upgrading is hassle, having to backup all my stuff etc.
Fizzban 21st February 2012, 17:29 Quote
Good stuff. I had no intentions of using W8 anyway.
tigertop1 21st February 2012, 17:34 Quote
Have been using W8 dev version for about 3 months on a spare PC. Nothing I have seen so far would convince me it is more desirable than W7--or even Vista at a push. The beta version may be slicker but W8 is not intuitive to use and W7 is totally simple and easy to get on with no matter whether you have come from Vista, XP or whatever.

I am sure MS will push it for all they are worth but i think it may well land in the same ordure as Vista has done
NethLyn 21st February 2012, 18:05 Quote
The best offers will be at launch, I missed out on Win 7 for 40 quid and am not making the same mistake with Windows 8 if there's a similar deal. If I don't think I'm going to use it then I can just flog it.

Every version of Windows I can remember had an option to make it look like the one before, so if they drop that from Win8, that's commercial suicide.
The_Beast 21st February 2012, 18:12 Quote
Unless it's cheap, I have no use (touchscreen) for Win8
DBA 21st February 2012, 18:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panos
Consider this, W7 seems going to be the OS that will run in 2 decades. (2001-2020).
If we think about it, is more than the official lifespan of any other MS OS. Second though to XP :)

How the h*ll did you get W7 some eight years ahead of everyone else?
jls25 21st February 2012, 18:56 Quote
sigh. i just hope windows 8 will be good. i already switched to mac for laptops because i had it with PCs for laptops.
Eiffie 21st February 2012, 20:11 Quote
Seeing as how Windows 7 rocks my socks, this is awesome news. I wouldn't mind a few more years with Windows 7. YEARS!
IXON 21st February 2012, 20:20 Quote
I intend on sticking with Windows 7 for a few more years yet.
Honestly I can see Windows 8 being next Vista & Millenium, it maybe great for tablets, but for Desktop PC's & Laptops just can't see this touch screen tile rubbish working out.
The_Beast 21st February 2012, 20:23 Quote
It seems like every other MS OS is a flop
Bede 21st February 2012, 20:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by feathers
I have a feeling Win 8 is going to **** and so they realise many people will complain and stick with win 7. Rumour circulating that MS want to kill off desktop PC, I'd rather see MS dead before that happens.

Probably the stupidest conspiracy theory I have ever heard. Microsoft is built on the back of the office desktop PC, our very civilisation is supported by desktops. They have no desire to 'kill off' the desktop.
Janek566 21st February 2012, 20:43 Quote
Who gives a sh*t? It's still the worst operating system to ever hit everyday consumers in the face. I'm ashamed to be forced to use it whenever I want to play a game. At least that happens less often now.
rogerrabbits 21st February 2012, 21:22 Quote
The only thing that annoys me is that rather than upgrading our OS's they just keep releasing new ones. I don't mind big jumps too much like 2k to XP, and XP to Vista etc.. But rather than 'fixing' vista, they basically repackaged it as Win7 and ripped everyone off in the process. I love win7 but I don't think anyone could convince me that Vista couldn't have just been changed in to Win7 with patches.

So now I'm on Win7 and all is good, but again they are pushing out yet another one, and again, say what you want about a slight improvement to DirectX and whatnot, but still I don't think anyone could convince me that they couldn't have just developed patches and updates for Win7 to turn it in to whatever Win8 is.

I know they are in business to make money but there's a line between providing decent value for money and just shafting people, and I think they are gleefully crossing that line. At least they aren't forcing anyone to upgrade from 7 to 8, yet.... but it still bugs me that after spending the £200 or whatever, I don't get any real content updates, only security updates. They are just doing the EA model, Fifa Windows 2011, and Fifa Windows 2012, etc.
Snips 21st February 2012, 21:55 Quote
lol, the anti-Microsoft brigade are out in full force. What's up? been a while since we've seen you all moan about Microsoft. Looks like Windows7 kinda left it's boot marks on your backside :)
PaulC2K 22nd February 2012, 00:24 Quote
Its like everyones read about or tried the Metro UI and decided thats Win8 in a nutshell. It cant evolve, it cant implement other features, its 100% tablet orientated and couldnt possibly have anything to offer desktop/laptop users because of the introduction of Metro for a touch/tablet friendly usability that the standard OS lacks. Good to see people arent so narrow-minded ey.
They announce they're extending support for older OSs (Incl XP!) and still people find a way to spin it as a negative, they know W8 will fail on release, everyone abandon the ship MS will be freely supporting for 5yr longer than they promised when you bought/*acquired* it.
Truly end of the world stuff.
GeorgeStorm 22nd February 2012, 00:27 Quote
Pleased in a way I guess, since everything I've seen about W8 has put me off more and more :P

I'd still be using XP if it wasn't for TRIM, W7 isn't bad though.
javaman 22nd February 2012, 01:26 Quote
simple solution to metro UI, have the option to turn it off......genius! Hands up who skined windows xp back to the square greyness like 95/98 had?
campdude 22nd February 2012, 03:33 Quote
Upgrade to windows 8 depends on how cheap i can get it.
If real-world benchmarks show that its faster then i may consider it.
NethLyn 22nd February 2012, 14:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madness_3d
I guess a patch for 7 is a Patch for Vista, so they might as well

It's not such a great disaster that Vista is included if you can't buy it anymore - when I needed a copy last year for my rellie's PC I had to get it secondhand from the Amazon Marketplace. Extending support leaves the door open for upgrades to 32-Bit Windows 7 as a final upgrade on older PCs, then a newly bought machine will just jump you to Win 8. I can't see a downside to it at all.
Lsane 23rd February 2012, 10:46 Quote
I'll be sticking to Windows 7. MS has already made the Xbox360 look "metro" and it frankly looks awful. Big bulky boxes everywhere.

I have no desire to make my PC look like it's from Fisher Price.
wuyanxu 23rd February 2012, 10:56 Quote
if they put the original start menu back, instead of forcing Metro down people's throats, i would probably upgrade to win8, i actually like win8's other features such as file copying and file replace dialogue box.

Metro isn't for desktop, plane and simple. x86 Windows isn't for tablets either, ARM Windows is not really Windows due to lack of backwards compatibility. so why are MS trying so hard to enter a market they have no understanding, while destroying their current strength?
Nexxo 23rd February 2012, 11:03 Quote
Because Microsoft is learning to think ahead by a decade, like Apple does. In five years' time tablets will be everywhere, and powerful yet frugal enough to run x86 Windows OS. It's time to get in on the act now, before Apple has too much of a lead on establishing standards.
Shielder 23rd February 2012, 11:36 Quote
Hmmm, if, and it's a big IF, Win 8 can be used just like Win 7, Vista and XP, with a keyboard and mouse, then fine. But if it is touch centred, I'll definately give it a miss. Why? Well, my screen is positioned about 4 feet away from me at home and I have to stretch to touch the screen in work. Not good for the posture at all!
Grimloon 23rd February 2012, 13:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
simple solution to metro UI, have the option to turn it off......genius! Hands up who skined windows xp back to the square greyness like 95/98 had?

*raises hand* I've done exactly the same for my Windows 7 installations and will continue to do so wherever I can.

I used Vista on a dev box and decided not to move to it on that basis, I'll expect that I'll make the same call with regards to Windows 8.

As far as the announcement is concerned, it appears to be going back to the old way Microsfot ran support as at one point they supported at least 5 desktop OSs side by side (95, 98, 98 SE, ME and 2000).
Nexxo 23rd February 2012, 13:58 Quote
All that GUI stuff is for pussies anyway. Let's go back to the good old days of MS-DOS: command line interface, no pussy coloured icons to click on with your pussy mouse. Real men use keyboards, darn it! They write commands. In monochrome.

But seriously(-ish): who actually thinks that Windows 8 is actually going to drop the desktop and windows GUI altogether and just use Metro? Stop sniffing the TIM cleaner.
Noob? 23rd February 2012, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
All that GUI stuff is for pussies anyway. Let's go back to the good old days of MS-DOS: command line interface, no pussy coloured icons to click on with your pussy mouse. Real men use keyboards, darn it! They write commands. In monochrome.

But seriously(-ish): who actually thinks that Windows 8 is actually going to drop the desktop and windows GUI altogether and just use Metro? Stop sniffing the TIM cleaner.

LMAO, thanks mate!
javaman 23rd February 2012, 15:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
All that GUI stuff is for pussies anyway. Let's go back to the good old days of MS-DOS: command line interface, no pussy coloured icons to click on with your pussy mouse. Real men use keyboards, darn it! They write commands. In monochrome.

But seriously(-ish): who actually thinks that Windows 8 is actually going to drop the desktop and windows GUI altogether and just use Metro? Stop sniffing the TIM cleaner.

LMAO, yea Apple whas totally wrong doing in the GUI interface all those years ago. Simple and lightweight is the new black, screw aero!

I can't see it either but I'm anal about a clear desktop. With windows 7 everything is in the bar at the bottom. The idea of on screen widgets in 7 and vista was nice but tbh most where complete bull with little or no flexability. Metro has got me excited since their phones have real time updating , the symetrical nature of tiles plus real time info means the desktop will hopefully (haven't read much since so much changes before release) actually become useful instead of a glorified picture frame.
TBH microsoft need to tow the line for once. Considering the only OS alternative for a custom PC is Linux it's not as if people will jump ship. It needs to be done if it moves in line with a grand plan and adds something semi functional (live tiles would be brilliant if adopted properly) rather than change for the sake of change, doing it cause its the latest trend regardless of how it performs with current interfaces. While PC users should welcome change, the change should be beinificial in some way. Thats why iOS worked. It was designed with a target audience in mind rather than the shoehorn approach. If MS is shoehorning Metro onto desktop its just gonna be the revers of shoehorning windows onto tablets way back. Even now 7 is a dog to use (laptops in Uni use them and they are good if they don't lock up. Amazing considering it's 1st gen i5 processors, 4gb ram etc! they are HP tho)
penryn 2 hertz 23rd February 2012, 19:24 Quote
Ill stick to 7...
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