TORONTO – Microsoft has pulled the plug on mainstream support for Windows 7 users.
Starting this week, the tech giant will stop pushing out new features or services packs for the four-year-old operating system. Extended support will be offered on Windows 7 until January 2020 but users will have to pay for technical support.
The end of mainstream support means the operating system will no longer be eligible for new features from Microsoft; however, Windows 7 users will still receive critical security patches through the extended support program.
The downside for Windows 7 users is that new programs and features may not be compatible with their computer.
“Even if an operating system is no longer available for purchase or support through Microsoft, that operating system may still work with programs and with hardware that become available after sale or support of such operating system is discontinued,” reads a message on Microsoft’s products support lifecycle page.
“However, as an operating system grows older, the chance that new programs will not run well on the operating system increases.”
The latest generation of Microsoft’s flagship operating system, Windows 10, is due out later this year.
Microsoft is set to make an announcement regarding Windows 10 on Jan. 21, which may include a more exact release date.