As you read this, Windows 10 is marching across the world.
The free upgrade is streaming to millions of PCs through Windows Update. You may have received a notice already.
Every Microsoft software product has a “lifecycle” – a period of time spanning its release date to the end-of-life (after which Microsoft will not support its use).
The typical lifecycle for operating systems is 10 years. Windows 7 was released in 2009; it will reach end-of-life in 2020. Windows 8.1 was released in 2013; it will reach end-of-life in 2023.
According to the Microsoft Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet
, Windows 10 will receive the same 10-year lifecycle. It will reach end-of-life in October of 2025.
What does this mean for your business? Two things.
- You don’t have to rush into adopting Windows 10 right away. You can choose to wait a little while, see how the operating system’s accepted, and wait for its app market to mature a little.
- Add the following dates to your calendar.
- Windows 8/8.1 ends mainstream support on January 9, 2018. After this Microsoft will no longer offer direct support (Windows 7 mainstream support ended earlier this year). After this, you can only receive Windows 8/8.1 support from IT staff or consultants.
- Windows 10 is no longer free to upgrade after July 29, 2016. 1 year – that’s how long you can wait. Afterward, if you want to upgrade to Windows 10? You’ll have to pay for a copy.