Tech Tips

August 05, 2015

What You Should Know About the Windows 10 Support Lifecycle

Windows 10 is here! You may have received an upgrade notice already. Please note that Windows 10 has a similar lifecycle to previous operating systems, so you don't have to upgrade right away. It won't be free for very long though...
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 and ZDNet, 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.