Extended Support For Windows 7 and 8.1 Has Ended. What does that mean for the Future of Windows?
Microsoft has officially ended all support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Even though Microsoft had not been providing end-user support for these versions of Windows, they were still providing security updates when serious issues were found. This is no longer the case. All levels of support have officially ended. If you are still running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, it is extremely important that you upgrade to a supported version of Windows.
Currently, the latest version of Windows available is Windows 11, which has not been without its issues. Even with the first major update released over the last few months, Windows 11 has been plagued with issues mostly affecting office environments.
Windows 11 is not the only version of Windows that Microsoft still supports. Microsoft is still providing upgrades for Windows 10, and the later versions of Windows 10 are still fully supported. If you have Windows 10, you should ensure you are running at least version 21H2, which was the November 2021 Update. That version will be supported until June of 2023. The current version, the 22H2 version or the 2022 update, will be supported until May 2024. At least one future version of Windows 10 will be supported until October 14th, 2025.
While 22H2 will probably not be the last major update to Windows 10, Microsoft has already set a date in 2025 for when they will no longer support Windows 10. Microsoft’s current plan, which could change, is they will retire Windows 10 with plans to release their next version of the operating system, Windows 12, sometime in 2024.
Does that mean you will need to upgrade to Windows 11 at that point? Well, we will see what the status of Windows 11 is at the time, but recent news out of Redmond, WA, is that a future major update of Windows 11 is being scrapped to put those resources into getting Windows 12 ready for a 2024 release.
If you are a fan of Windows 11, the news of Windows 12 might not be what you want to hear. However, since Windows 11 has had so many issues, many IT professionals anxiously await the next version of Windows, ready to leave 11 behind and ride Windows 10 out until the very end and skip 11 altogether. If Microsoft keeps to this schedule, there will be an overlap of Windows 12 with Windows 10 for at least one year. For those adamant about skipping 11, this time frame works out.