End of life is a cycle that has happened with several previous versions of Windows. It is simply a term that refers to a period of transition in which Microsoft no longer offers a wide range of support to enterprise and personal users operating the Windows 7 version of Windows. Microsoft has offered paid support for Windows 7 that extends throughout 2019 and up to the official Windows 7 end of life date in January 2020. Whiles this phase of the lifecycle includes security upgrades, it lacks design and feature updates.
Once Microsoft officially calls the end of life for Windows 7, the best option for those running Windows 7 is upgrading Windows to the new Windows 10 operating system. Until migration to a new operating system, users face increased security risks to hard drive apps and server functions that rely on Windows 7. There will also be no technical support, so users face the risk of compromised data as a result of malware attacks and no relief in the form of bug fixes.
Another possible issue facing those who do not upgrade Windows to the new Windows 10 operating system is the lack of support from third-party apps. Developers may decide that exposing their systems and networks to potential data or security breaches on Windows 7 platforms is not worth the risk of continuing to support those apps. As such, apps that users rely on can become useless as developers also suspend support for Windows 7-based applications. This support isn’t likely to happen right away as countless users opt to stay on Windows 7 for months or years. But, as that user base dwindles, third-party developers will pull back support as well.
There is one notable differentiation that users need to keep in mind. The specific end of life date for Windows 7 applies to computers running Windows 7 Home and Pro. However, devices with Windows 7 embedded or Windows 7 enterprise solutions have different end-of-life timelines.