Tax & Accounting Blog

Windows® 7, 8, 9, 10 – When Will it End?

CS Professional Suite, Technology July 21, 2015

Wasn’t it just yesterday we talked about Microsoft® ending extended support for Windows XP? Or maybe it was yesterday when Microsoft announced they were ending support for Windows Server 2003.

Either way, software operating systems and products are announced, live their lives, and then are discontinued with almost dizzying speed these days. Which is why many of you have been hearing (or have seen pop-ups on your workstation) about upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. And you may be wondering: Did I miss Windows 9? (Short answer: No. More on that in a bit.)

Before we get into more detail, let me explain a little about the recent and current versions of client Windows, and the Windows Lifecycle.

For any version of Windows (client or server), there’s an initial release date, an end of mainstreamsupport, and an end of extended support. The end of mainstream support indicates the end of feature and performance enhancement requests, but Microsoft still provides security updates for the system.

However, the end of extended support removes any onus on Microsoft to update for any reason, including critical security concerns.

What does that mean in practical terms for your firm? When a client operating system comes to the end of mainstream support, it’s generally still supported by software vendors. However, improvements to performance and features in the operating system come to a halt, and that’s when firms should evaluate whether newer operating systems would increase the performance of their software (and thus, their staff).

But when the client operating system comes to the end of extended support, firms should have already moved to a newer, supported environment – not just for efficiency, but for the security of your clients’ sensitive and valuable data.

That being said, you may have heard rumors that Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 – and while it is true that Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 in January 2015, extended support is available through January 2020, so you’re still secure. If you’re using Windows Vista, however, please note that mainstream support ended on April 10, 2012, and extended support will end on April 11, 2017.

For you Windows 8.1 users, you’ll continue to enjoy mainstream support through January 2018, and extended support through January 2023.

So what about Windows 9? Never happened! So you didn’t miss a thing. Windows 10 is the next version of Microsoft’s client operating system, and it’s scheduled for a July 29th release. Interestingly, Microsoft is doing something new this time around: offering a free upgrade for one year to anyone currently using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Which begs the question, should you make the jump?

Here’s our take-and what you can expect from Thomson Reuters. As your trusted technology provider, we’ve thoroughly tested the CS Professional Suite and can confirm that we’ll be ready to support Windows 10 when it’s released on July 29. You’ll still want to verify that all of your Thomson Reuters software is supported before making any changes/decisions. Individual product-specific exceptions will be documented here: System Requirements. You should also work with your qualified technician to make sure you’re truly ready (hardware, learning curve time, etc.).

For more information about Windows 10, check out https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows.

Resources:

5 Things You Should Know (And Probably Don’t) About Windows 10 (Accounting Today)

Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet from Microsoft