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Microsoft Extends Windows 7, 8.1 Support Deadlines

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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But Redmond insists enterprise customers are moving to Windows 10 faster than any version of Windows

Microsoft has performed a significant u-turn after announcing it would extend the support lifecycles of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 running on Intel Skylake silicon.

The decision essentially delays the retirement of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 for a good few years, and comes as Microsoft insists that businesses are adopting Windows 10 at a faster rate than previous versions of the operating system.

Support Extension

That said, Microsoft admitted in a blog post that some commercial customers have systems that require longer deployment timeframes.

“We have extended the support period from July 17, 2018 to the end of support dates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1; and we will provide all applicable security updates,” it said. This policy change primarily applies to Redmond’s commercial customers.

So what are the new deadlines. Well support for Windows 7 has been extended to 14 January 2020, whereas support for Windows 8.1 will end 10 January 2023. And Microsoft said that customers using six generation Intel Core devices on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be supported with all applicable security updates until those dates.

“This change is designed to help our customers purchase modern hardware with confidence, while continuing to manage their migrations to Windows 10,” wrote Microsoft.

It said there are now over 350 million devices on Windows 10 and more than 135 billion hours of use since the launch. But there are concerns that despite the offer of a free upgrade, and some questionable tactics, Windows 10 might miss its target of one billion installations by 2018.

That said, by most metrics Windows 10 has been a success for the company.

“We recommend that customers upgrade these 6th Gen Intel Core systems on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as soon as possible so that they can receive full support along with the great enhancements that come from running modern hardware with modern software,” Microsoft said.

Earlier this month Microsoft released its Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which is said to be more secure, faster and boasts another improvements as well.

mysteriy windows phoneMobile Confusion

Confusion meanwhile still surrounds Microsoft’s intention in the mobile space.

Windows Phone is being quietly retired and the company has effectively withdrawn from the consumer mobile space after the sale of its feature phone business, and the brutal gutting of its phone workforce.

However Microsoft continues to insist that it is still committed to running Windows 10 on mobiles, is reportedly working on new smartphones, but these seem to be aimed at the business and not the consumer segment.

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