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    Ongoing observations by End Point Dev people

    Where are you with your Windows OS in 2019?

    Dan Briones

    By Dan Briones
    February 12, 2019

    Windows home row
    Photo by bradleypjohnson · CC BY 2.0

    It should be of little surprise that on January 14, 2020, after a decade of Windows 7, Microsoft will stop providing security updates and support for this older operating system. Windows 7 was released in 2009, and due to its stability enjoyed many years as the go-to operating system for home and business alike.

    Even now, it is estimated by NetMarketShare that over 40% of businesses still rely on it. Despite Microsoft having ended mainstream support for Windows 7 in 2015, it still offered extended support because of the operating system’s popularity, and the generally slow adoption of newer releases. However, that support shall soon end, as will support for Windows Server 2008 R2 (release 2), which also remains in wide use. Organizations of all kinds will need to upgrade to newer operating systems to remain secure.

    The corporate adoption of Windows 8 and 8.1 may have been slow in part due to Microsoft’s radical changes to the user interface, such as replacing navigation menus with information-​filled “live” tiles. Windows 10, however, was designed as a compromise, providing a Windows 7-​like Start menu, while preserving the live tile interface for accessing applications and services from the desktop. There are many compelling reasons for moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The most notable is that Windows 7 will no longer receive any security updates, creating serious security risk and compliance issues.

    In 2018, Microsoft adopted a Semi-​Annual Channel (SAC) governed by the Modern Lifecycle Policy. This means that feature updates are released to the public twice a year, around March and September. Updates are cumulative. Updating to these releases is required to remain eligible for support from Microsoft. Security updates are released monthly and quarterly as rollups, and critical updates are released as needed. This is part of Microsoft’s plan to minimize vulnerabilities and security exposure in an ever-​changing digital world.

    Time to change

    At End Point we consider keeping our clients’ systems updated both fundamental and essential. Companies need stable systems in order to operate, and uptime is of critical importance. This is one reason we offer our RMM (Remote Management and Monitoring) services. We connect with our clients’ systems to receive custom-​defined policies for patching, then monitor and test updates before we deploy them on the cycle that best suits our customer’s workflow.

    We are committed to helping our clients transition safely and efficiently to Windows 10. It can be a lengthy process when accounting for the time it takes to properly test all business applications and processes before transitioning to a new OS, and the time it takes to make any necessary hardware changes and complete the update.

    See the charts below to learn when service will end for various versions of Windows, and contact us for a consultation on the best ways to manage your IT to keep your organization secure.

    Windows 10

    OS versionDate of availabilityEnd of service for Home, Pro, and Pro for Workstation EditionsEnd of service for Enterprise and Education Editions
    Windows 10, version 1809November 13, 2018May 12, 2020May 11, 2021
    Windows 10, version 1803April 30, 2018November 12, 2019November 10, 2020
    Windows 10, version 1709October 17, 2017April 9, 2019April 14, 2020
    Windows 10, version 1703April 5, 2017October 9, 2018October 8, 2019
    Windows 10, version 1607August 2, 2016April 10, 2018April 9, 2019
    Windows 10, version 1511November 10, 2015October 10, 2017October 10, 2017
    Windows 10, released July 2015 (version 1507)July 29, 2015May 9, 2017May 9, 2017

    Enterprise LTSC/​LTSB Editions

    Windows 10 LTSC/​LTSB editions also follow the Fixed Lifecycle policy. To learn more, see Microsoft Business, Developer and Desktop Operating Systems Policy.

    OS versionDate of availabilityMainstream support end dateExtended support end date
    Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 / Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2019November 13, 2018January 9, 2024January 9, 2029
    Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB / Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSBAugust 2, 2016October 12, 2021October 13, 2026
    Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB / Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2015 LTSBJuly 29, 2015October 13, 2020October 14, 2025

    Note: Not all features in an update will work on all devices. A device may not be able to receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacks current drivers, or is otherwise outside the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) support period.

    For more information on the Windows 10 lifecycle, see Windows 10 Client and Windows Server Semi-​Annual Channel Lifecycle Policy update (February 1, 2018) or the Windows 10 release information page. To learn more about the Windows 10 mobile lifecycle, see Windows 10 Mobile.

    Windows 8.1 and 7

    Prior releases of the Windows operating system are likewise governed by the Fixed Lifecycle Policy. This policy comprises two phases: mainstream support and extended support. See Microsoft Business, Developer and Desktop Operating Systems Policy for more details.

    OS versionEnd of mainstream supportEnd of extended support
    Windows 8.1January 9, 2018January 10, 2023
    Windows 7, service pack 1*January 13, 2015January 14, 2020

    * Support for Windows 7 RTM without service packs ended on April 9, 2013. Be sure to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 to continue to receive support and updates.

    Prior versions of Windows, including Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, have limited support when running on new processors and chipsets from manufacturers like Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm. For more information, see the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. A device may not be able to run prior versions of Windows if the device hardware is incompatible, lacks current drivers, or is otherwise outside the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) support period.

    (Windows life cycle charts and information were taken from Microsoft’s windows support site.)

    windows security