Support for Windows 7 will continue until 2020, but only if the latest Service Pack has been installed. Where this is not the case, support will end at Microsoft’s next Patch Day on 9 April 2013.
The company has therefore notified users that, with immediate effect, where Windows Update has been activated, SP1 will be installed automatically. Until now, users have been able to decline to install SP1. Computers managed via Systems Center Configuration Manager or WSUS are the exceptions to this rule.
Microsoft usually provides “mainstream support” for its Windows operating system for five years, followed by a further five years “extended support”. Exceptions are its Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 smartphone operating systems, both of which will be supported for 18 months. The support period for the tablet operating system Windows RT has not yet been decided, but Microsoft is promising to support its Surface tablet with RT for a little over four years.