Jesse is a longtime reader with a question. He writes:  “I read somewhere that Microsoft will stop their support for some versions of windows in the not to distant future {I like their update} –I think XP-is the designated one to be dumped. Not sure though.  I have win 7–Wondering if my win 7 will be one of those unsupportable versions. If anyone knows–it most certainly will be” World start”. I have been receiving your tips for the last 18 yrs.”

Well I’m glad you’re receiving out tips, but I tempted to ask if you’ve been reading them. I screamed so loud and long about the end of support for Windows XP back in April of 2014 that readers were telling me to shut up about it already!  We even made this nifty graphic to commemorate the end of the line for XP. At one point, Steve told me to stop using it so much because it was depressing. But in case you missed some of our articles on Microsoft’s lifecycle policies, let’s go over them again.


Security support for Windows XP ended in April of 2014. Click here to read an article I wrote about the End of XP that I think covers the subject pretty well.

At some point Microsoft is going to stop supporting every operating system. The same is true for Apple or Linux or Android or whatever OS you choose. Nothing lasts forever, system requirements and security needs change.


Microsoft’s general rule for security and bug support is 10 years from the time of release to the public. Windows XP actually got an extra 3-year life extension to give folks time to transition.

Vista will be supported until 2017, Windows 7 until 2020, Windows 8.1 until 2023 and Windows 10 at least until 2025.

The end of support doesn’t mean the OS suddenly stops working, but I certainly wouldn’t go online with an unsupported OS. It doesn’t matter if you have a third-party security product. Nothing can fully protect an unsupported OS.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to pay to upgrade your OS. The upgrade to Windows 10 is free for users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as long as you do it by July of 2016.

A lot of folks think that after that, Microsoft may switch to a model similar to Apple’s where the upgrade to the new OS is free for home users. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed that yet.

Hope this clears things up for you and thanks for reading.

~ Cynthia