Windows Life Cycle

“Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it’s no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software.” Quote from Windows lifecycle fact sheet.

If you have Windows XP then you are on your own – Microsoft have washed their hands of you. So if a vulnerability comes out now then no-one is likely to fix it for you, making your PC at risk.

If you have Windows Vista then you are on borrowed time as you will be in the same position in 18 months.

Windows 7 is already into the ‘security updates only’ phase.

Make sure you are as up to date as possible as this will reduce the risk of security issues.

Client operating systems Latest update or service pack End of mainstream support (ie new features may be added until then.)
End of extended support (ie security updates only – no new features)
Windows XP Service Pack 3 April 14, 2009 April 8, 2014
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 April 10, 2012 April 11, 2017
Windows 7  Service Pack 1 January 13, 2015 January 14, 2020
Windows 8 Windows 8.1 January 9, 2018 January 10, 2023
Windows 10, released in July 2015  N/A October 13, 2020 October 14, 2025