Last updated: January 2016
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.
End of support
End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available update or service pack installed. Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. For more information go to Microsoft Support Lifecycle.
|Client operating systems||Latest update or service pack||End of mainstream support||End of extended support|
|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|
Prior versions of Windows, including Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, have limited support when running on new processors and chipsets from manufacturers like Intel, AMD, NVidia, and Qualcomm. For more information, please see the Support Lifecycle FAQ.
* Support for Windows 7 RTM without service packs ended on April 9, 2013. Be sure to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 today to continue to receive support and updates.
** Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it. A device needs to install the latest update to remain supported. Updates may include new features, fixes (security and/or non-security), or a combination of both. Not all features in an update will work on all devices. A device may not be able to receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (“OEM”) support period. Update availability may vary, for example by country, region, network connectivity, mobile operator (e.g., for cellular-capable devices), or hardware capabilities (including, e.g., free disk space).
End of support: questions and answers
End of sales
End of sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Examples of OEMS are Dell and Toshiba—PC manufacturers who often preinstall Windows software.
This table gives end of sales dates for specific Windows operating systems.
|Client operating systems and updates||Date of general availability||Retail software end of sales*||End of sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled|
|Windows XP||December 31, 2001||June 30, 2008||October 22, 2010|
|Windows Vista||January 30, 2007||October 22, 2010||October 22, 2011|
|Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate||October 22, 2009||October 31, 2013||October 31, 2014|
|Windows 7 Professional||October 22, 2009||October 31, 2013||October 31, 2016|
|Windows 8||October 26, 2012||October 31, 2014||June 30, 2016|
|Windows 8.1||October 18, 2013||September 1, 2015||October 31, 2016|
|Windows 10||July 29, 2015||N/A||N/A|
* Note that when the retail software product reaches its end of sales date, it can still be purchased through OEMs (the company that made your PC) until it reaches the end of sales date for PCs with Windows preinstalled.
End of sales: questions and answers
Service packs and updates
Service packs and updates are part of the process of keeping Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 up to date. Service packs combine the latest updates and fixes into one package or download. A service pack can include security and performance improvements as well as support for new types of hardware. To install the latest service pack for Windows Vista, or Windows 7, or to install the latest update for Windows 8, visit the Service Pack Center.
|Desktop operating systems||Date of availability||Support retired|
|Windows XP SP1||August 30, 2002||October 10, 2006|
|Windows XP SP2||September 17, 2004||July 13, 2010|
|Windows XP SP3||April 21, 2008||April 8, 2014|
|Windows Vista SP1||February 4, 2008||July 12, 2011|
|Windows Vista SP2||May 26, 2009||Available now|
|Windows 7 SP1||February 22, 2011||Available now|
|Windows 8.1||October 18, 2013||Available now|
|Windows 10, released in July 2015||N/A||N/A|
Service packs and updates: questions and answers
Windows downgrade rights
To use prior versions of Windows software on PCs installed with newer versions, it is possible for consumers to obtain a license for downgrade rights. These downgrade rights will vary depending on if the software was acquired via Volume Licensing, OEM, or FPP. To learn more about these rights, review the downgrade rights licensing brief.
Article ID: 13853 - Last Review: Aug 31, 2016 - Revision: 35