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It’s hard to believe that Windows 7 is already being phased out of Microsoft Corp.’s support plans, but when you consider it was launched all the way back in 2009 and we’re likely going to see the launch of Windows 10 (that’s two full versions ahead of Windows 7, not three) this year, it’s not all that surprising.

For many users the end of mainstream support won’t make a big difference in how you use your computer day-to-day. It’s not the same as a the end of extended support like we saw with Windows XP last year and Windows Server 2003 this year. But if you really like having all the latest updates Microsoft releases for its Windows eco-system, it’s time to start thinking about an upgrade. Brad Chacos at PC World details what you need to know about the end of mainstream support for Windows 7:

  • You won’t get any of the Microsoft updates that are being queued up for Windows 10, such as the DirectX 12 update for enhanced graphical performance. Also, you won’t be able to call Microsoft for free help when you have Windows 7-related issues.
  • Now in the extended support phase, Windows 7 still gets security patches and security-related hotfixes. Businesses that want hotfix support for non-security related issues can sign up for an extended plan to receive them. The extended support period will last until Jan. 14, 2020.
  • Considering that many commercial PCs are still being sold with Windows 7 installed and downgrade rights are still being honoured via Windows 10, for most users there’s no big reason to worry. But if you’re considering buying a PC, one that comes with Windows 7 might be a bit dated.

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