Windows 7 users: Move to SP1 to continue receiving Microsoft support

Windows 7 users: Move to SP1 to continue receiving Microsoft support

Summary: The end of support date for Windows 7 without Service Pack 1 installed is April 9, 2013.


The end-of-support date for Microsoft's Windows 7 -- without Service Pack 1 installed -- is quickly approaching.

Windows 7 RTM (release to manufacturing), with no service pack installed, will no longer be supported as of April 9, 2013, according to a February 14 post on the Microsoft Springboard Series blog. Support for specific Windows releases ends 24 months after the release of a new Service Pack, and Windows 7 SP1 was released in February 2011.

Windows 7 SP1 mainstream (free) support continues until January 13, 2015. Extended (paid) support for Windows 7 SP1 is available until January 14, 2020. (Microsoft continues to provide security updates for free during the Extended support phase of a product.)

The Springboard blog included this chart to explain the differences between Mainstream and Extended support


As far as we know, Microsoft has no plans to release a second service pack for Windows 7. Many of us Microsoft watchers have asked the company about this but received no comment. Microsoft is believed to be moving to a new model, via which it delivers annual refreshes of Windows, rather than big-bang releases once every three years or so, with service packs delivered in the interim.

The new model will likely change policies for some IT shops that have waited until Microsoft ships SP1 of a new version of Windows before even considering to move to the latest release.

The Office division at Microsoft seems to be on a path of sticking with the Service Pack model for the foreseeable future.

Topics: Windows, IT Priorities, Microsoft, IT Policies


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Why would anybody using Win7 be running without SP1??

    It was out a few weeks after WP7 was released .... and I haven't read anywhere that it created any kind of issues with 3rd party applications.

    Seriously, why in the world would anybody be running without SP1???
  • Support should be terminated sooner rather than later.

    Windows 8 is out. 7 is legacy software. There is no reason to run Windows 7 at all, Windows 8 runs faster on the same hardware supported by 7.
    • Then you can pay for my copy of Windows 8

      Since I bought Windows 7 when I built my current PC a year before Windows 8 came out.
    • Windows 8...

      Windows 7 is legacy software, by the definition...but windows 8 is definitely not worth upgrading to.
      • And

        Nobody I know wants Windows 8!
        • Installing Window 8 ?

          Yes Gisabun , including me . I don't see any reason why I should upgrade this good & stable OS of Windows 7. Even not having a bit wish/predilection to do so. Many of my friends share the same opinion in this case. I'm fully contented using Windows 7 .
          Andre H.S Xie
    • I agree with @spdragoo

      If you want to force me to run Windows 8 (which is never gonna happen until i have No Choice At All), rather then W7 ... YOU can pay me to put it on my home-built machine
    • That is an absurd position....

      Hardware, ok so the OS runs on the same hardware. What about all of the other hardware that requires it's own drivers? THAT is the big deal. If you're simply surfing the web or using 'mainstream' applications, that may be fine for you. If, however, you use hardware that requires specalized drivers, in applications that require things like FDA validation or industrial safety control system validation, etc., the cost, expense, time, and effort to just move to Windows 8 and write off Windows 7 as 'legacy software' is a very compelling reason to continue to use Windows 7.

      In fact, just today, I was approached by a large manufacturer to try to extend the life of the control system that they are using by maybe three more years or so. To put it into perspective, that OS, while not something that runs on a standard computer is roughly 25 years old. They need to protect the investment they have made.

      Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD do it....
    • Metro

      The reason is that Metro sucks for desktops.
  • Impossible on a whole lot of 64-bit.

    The number of PC's experiencing errors installing SP1 on 64-bit is huge.
    • Errors installing SP1 on 64-bit

      Hi. Do you have links where people are complaining about this? Not doubting you; just curious. Thanks MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Check the Microsoft Answers forum Windows 7 section

        and search for SP1 install trouble not successful and you will see. Personally I recommend persons simply download a integrated SP1 ISO for the edition they have a license for and do a repair upgrade. Or blow out their existing install and do a fresh install with it.
      • Microsoft fail

        Me SP1 will not install.
        • Errr....

          And we don't care what you do.....
    • 64-bit

      I've deployed over 1500 new computers with Win7 SP1. Not a single issue related to the SP.
    • So....

      AS Mary Jo said, got any real proof of what you are saying?
      I have installed SP1 on maybe a dozen systems and yet to find a problem.
      May not be the same reason but whe SP3 for Win XP came out many failed. There were two reasons. First some dumb mistake by [I think] HP where some AMD driver was some how in an Intel system [if I remember right]. The more serious problem was that many SP3 updates failed because lingering malware was on the system - in most cases even though the malware was removed, something in the system that had malware coding blocked the update. See also:
  • I think the no SP2 rule is foolish

    Its not a pretty site downloading post SP1 updates on a fresh install. Its worst enough if your machine came with RTM or you bought a RTM copy. Lucky enough, Digital River offers integrated SP1 ISOs, so you can bypass spending an entire day trying to install SP1 successfully.
    • agreed

      They need a Massive SP2 rollup.
    • SP2?

      Ever tried to install a fresh Windows 7 SP1 of late? Getting nasty. About 60 security updates for Windows alone. Add additional security updated for .net Framework [each version], plus a large stack of non-security updates. If you add probably any version of Office and it would total around 160 updates.
      I've asked a Microsoft Specialist but hasn't got back to me.
      Recently I tried the Microsoft "way" in building an image. SP1 already integrated. Add every update I have related to Windows [550 of them!] and the final image would not fin on a 16GB USB key. One problem is the \windows\winsxs folder. That's were backups to updates installed are stored. Microsoft says if you tinker with that folder, they won't support the system. Too much can go wrong.
      • and the Chrome OS - the next wave?

        And this is why the Chrome OS will soon take over - it has no limits (except operator failure). And apps vs. software, no brainer. Business documents, spreadsheets, templates, and the like exceptional - 2 years of free cloud storage and you print from the cloud. Talk to search, text, or chat (apps for text and chat), really, open Google search make sure microphone button is on and talk to the Google search page and no typing needed! Yes, they need to get an app that burns CD's - you can get around it by using the cloud and a cloud access abled printer for docs and photos - but I think that is the only drawback for many(again, not a gamer machine). So many think the Acer Chromebook at 199.99 is a child's system - so wrong - it does so much more - UNLESS you are a hard core gamer and then you need to go to Windows or Mac. Now low graphic low flash memory games that are Google supported work well, but high end flash memory eating and big graphic card games are not supported. But as time passes I see them getting around this eventually. Right now you can expand memory, some brave souls switch out hard drives, I find if used properly the memory expansion is great, the cloud will hold all you need or use a micro SD card. I am looking forward to what Google has in the wings with this OS - it has to be mind-boggling! This little 199 Chromebook is a never ending wealth of things that can be done, esp easy if you are familiar w/ Android apps for a smartphone. Oh, and don't forget - XP support ends next year........
        Lynette Carothers