Microsoft has just plunged its support for Windows 7, almost 11 years after it first released the operating system as a way to fix the Windows Vista failure.
Windows 7 became so popular that it took Windows 10 almost four full years to overthrow it on the market. Even now, there are millions of PCs powered by Windows 7, as it runs on 26 percent of all computers, as per a data report from Netmarketshare notes.
Businesses and education users of Windows 7 will have the possibility to pay for extra security updates, with every Windows 7 Enterprise costing $25 per PC this year. The following year the price will rise to $50, then to $100, and in 2022, the extension will reach the sum of $200. Microsoft is making these costs a bit more affordable with a free year of post-retirement updates to Windows 7 clients with active Windows 7 subscriptions.
Not the End Yet
The tech giant has been sending notifications to Windows 7 users during the year 2019 about the end of support for Windows 7. Starting with Wednesday, January 15th, a notification will appear for the OS, warning that the system is no longer supported. Microsoft is now trying to get users to upgrade to Windows 10, a course that made the global PC market to record its first year of expansion since 2011.
In spite of this end of support, Windows 7 seems like it will still be around for a while. It could take one more year or even two to bring Windows 7 below 10 percent market share, more so when Google is trying to support Chrome on the OS until the middle of 2021.
Windows 10 has also tried to fight this support termination issue with the company’s ‘Windows as a service’ campaign. Businesses and consumers had 18 months to update to a major Windows 10 installment from an older one, and the giant has been rolling out two significant updates per year.
Numerous businesses have protested against this, so Microsoft has now reduced the rate to 30 months of support for every big September update and 18 months for the March update. This has no effect on consumers who will be supported for only 18 months with each roll-out whatsoever, but these computers usually upgrade automatically to the most recent OS release.
A New Era Without Windows
Windows, as a service, does offer some compelling questions about computer sales of the next decade, however. Windows 7’s support termination had helped the PC market resurface in 2019, but because there is no ‘Windows 11’ as of yet, the computers that businesses are acquiring now could last for a longer period than before.
Microsoft, Intel, and PC manufacturers will probably be hoping that Surface and the continual request to improve hardware will persuade businesses and clients to upgrade to newer versions. There will probably never be another massive release of Windows like the Windows 10 or Windows 7 had in the past, even for foldable handsets.
“The operating system is no longer the most important layer for us,” explained Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the release of new Surface devices in 2019.
Windows is still an important part of the company’s business, but it is not the future of it. Microsoft is supporting Android, cross-platform software and services, and the cloud. Its transformation is continual, and it is more often monitoring the web to make a way onto opponents’ platforms.
The support termination for Windows 7 is just another landmark in the history of the reputable operating system.