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?
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).
- Ed Bott: Microsoft quietly extends consumer support for Windows 7, Vista
- Apple's secret weapon against Windows 8 (and why OS X 10.8 will be Apple's most important OS release since iOS)
- Microsoft's branding crisis comes to a head with Windows 8
- Preparing your PC for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview
- Apple’s secret weapon against Windows 8 (and why OS X 10.8 will be Apple’s most important OS release since iOS)
- Ignore Microsoft, Office will be coming to the iPad real soon
- Microsoft gets it right with Windows 8 on ARM, and why Apple should be worried
- Windows 8 ARM devices to have a ‘classic’ desktop experience?
- Microsoft Office rumored to be coming to the iPad … but is it too late?