Is Microsoft hoping for the best but preparing for the worst with Windows 8?

Summary:The truth is that this change isn't really all that big of a deal.

Interesting question from today's mailbag:

I noticed the other day that Microsoft has extended the support period of Windows Vista and Windows 7 to 10 years. Is this an indication that Microsoft hoping for the best with Windows 8, but at the same time preparing for the worst?

Good question!

On the face of it, it does indeed seem like Microsoft is preparing for Windows Vista and Windows 7 to be around for a long time, and it is putting the groundwork in place for people to be using these platforms until 2017 and 2020 respectively.

Maybe Microsoft thinks that Windows 8 will be a flop and that people will want to stick with the OS that they already have?

But the truth is that this change isn't really a very big deal.

Prior to this change in policy, consumer operating systems were supported for five years after their GA (General Availability, or release) date, and business operating systems are supported for 10 years (the last five years called 'extended support'). So, essentially what Microsoft is doing here is basically streamlining support and offering consumers the same level of support and protection that business users already receive. That makes a lot of sense really considering that it's mostly the same codebase and supporting both consumer and business versions doesn't add much in the way of workload.

What I felt was more interesting about this change in policy wasn't the change of policy itself, but the fact that Microsoft chose to do it silently. I thought that spoke more than the actual change itself (in that Microsoft didn't really want it publicized).

Related:

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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