... As well as Windows 8.1, Office 2010 and more.
With just over a year and a half until Microsoft drops support for Windows 7, the firm has announced it will no longer provide advice for the operating system on its official forums. Joining it will be Windows 8.1, 8.1 RT and a bunch of other older products.
While the forums will still mostly be accessible to customers, who can continue to engage with each other, answering questions and so on, there will no longer be any direct assistance from Microsoft itself. Instead, its employees will simply act as moderators, making sure “participants can engage in a safe and positive environment”.
This move is, perhaps, unsurprising. Mainstream support already ceased mainstream support for Windows 7 in 2015, leaving it in an extended support phase, during which business customers can still pay for support. That ends on 14th January 2020. Windows 8.1, meanwhile, saw the end of its mainstream support arrive in January 2018, with extended support taking customers through to 2023.
There is some debate about which version of Windows is the current marketing leader, but there is broad agreement that Windows 7 accounts for a large proportion of Microsoft’s users, along with Windows 10. Windows 8.1 has a much smaller userbase, which, combined with its more distant support deadline, surely makes it less of a priority for upgrading.
Microsoft, however, seems keen to draw a line under all operating systems before Windows 10, allowing it to focus resources on that and other new products. Any businesses still running these older operating systems would be wise to begin planning for an upgrade, if they haven’t already, to avoid being left with unsupported and, therefore, unsafe systems.
What Else IsAffected?
As well as Windows 7 and 8.1, Microsoft also said in its statement that forum support would also end for the following:
- Windows 7, 8.1, 8.1 RT.
- Microsoft Security Essentials.
- Internet Explorer 10.
- Office 2010, 2013.
- Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface RT, Surface 2.
- Microsoft Band – this topic will be locked. Users are invited to participate in Microsoft Band 2 topic.
- Mobile devices forum – Microsoft support will continue in "Other Windows mobile devices" topic.
- Zune – this topic will be locked, but will remain available for browsing.