Once a Windows desktop operating system leaves mainstream support, it enters the extended support phase—the very same support phase that Windows XP found itself in from early 2009 until its death earlier this year.
You’ll still receive those oh-so-critical security patches during extended support, meaning that while Windows 7 won’t be in active development beyond next January, it won’t be tossed to the wolves of the Web, either. Hotfixes will still be provided, too, assuming they’re security related. (Business can sign up for an extended hotfix support plan if your company wants hotfix support for non-security issues.) And those security updates will be coming for a long time, too: Extended support for Windows 7 lasts until January 14, 2020. Heck, commercial PCs with Windows 7 Professional will even continue to be sold for the foreseeable future. More