Windows 7 Mainstream support August 8th, 2014 Updated October 31st, 2014
Sales of computers to consumers with Windows 7 pre-installed by OEM PC manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba, Etc. ends on October 31st of 2014. So for the holiday shopping season unless you can find a Windows 7 PC at your local store or possibly some excess inventory at an online retailer you’re out of luck.
Mainstream support for Windows 7 ends January 13th, 2015 and enters the “Extended Support” phase.
The long goodbye begins: “Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it's no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software. Here are the rights and limits of the Windows lifecycle.” Reference: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle
To some of us it seems just like yesterday that Windows 7 was first released back in October of 2009 and was to be the “Jack the giant slayer for Windows XP”. But Microsoft released Windows 8 in October of 2012 effectively putting a halt to the sale Windows 7 computers and eventually the availability of “Retail” boxes of Windows 7.
Yes you can still purchase a Windows 7 based computer from Dell, HP and possibly other computer manufactures but the choices of model are slim, HP for example as of July 31st 2014 lists 56 Windows 8.1 laptops and only 5 Windows 7 laptops. But what few PCs still available now will no longer be sold after October of 2014.
Note A hotfix is a modification to the commercially available Microsoft product software code to address specific critical problems.
Mainstream Support - What mainstream support includes that is not part of the extended support phase: 1) No-charge incident support 2) Warranty claims 3) Design changes and feature requests (Bug fixes) Non-security hotfix support (Requires extended hotfix agreement, purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending.)
Microsoft Support Phone number: Call us directly on this number: 1-866-234-6020 Mon – Sun 05:00 – 21:00 Pacific Standard Time
Extended Support: Extended Support will be available to all customers*. Extended Support includes paid support (support that is charged on an hourly basis or per incident), security update support at no additional cost, and paid hotfix support. To receive hotfix support, an Extended Hotfix Support contract must be purchased within the first 90 days following the end of the Mainstream Support phase. (The 90-day requirement is waived if Software Assurance or Dynamics Business Ready Enhancement Plan has been purchased for the product in question.) Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes, or new features during the Extended Support phase.
* Extended Support is not offered for Consumer, Consumer Hardware, Multimedia products or Microsoft Online Services.
What about Windows Update? Updates will still continue just like they did for Windows XP until the “End of extended support” is reached. In the case of Windows XP this was April 8th of 2014, for Windows 7 the date is currently set to January 14th, 2020.