Microsoft Support Lifecycle for Windows

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Microsoft Support Lifecycle for Windows

Post by ssj100 on 27/9/2010, 09:52

A friend sent me information a few weeks ago about how Microsoft was going to terminate support for Windows 7 Ultimate in January 2015 (only 9 months after terminating support for Windows XP, SP3).

Firstly, this goes to show what an incredible run Windows XP has had, and is going to have - a total of about 14 years support! No wonder I'm still using it haha. And I'm planning to keep using it until 2014 (when support will finally be terminated). Secondly, I am quite surprised that this Ultimate edition of Windows 7 (which has the very robust AppLocker) is only being supported until 2015. Windows 7 Professional, on the other hand, is being supported until 2020 (5 years longer).

Now this "support" is of course extremely important from a security (Windows Hardening) point of view - exploits are always being discovered, and do remember that nothing can stop a carefully crafted kernel level exploit from potentially destroying your system, except for patching.

A good example is with Windows XP, SP2 - that LNK vulnerability was discovered not long after Microsoft ended support for XP, SP2.

Therefore when I eventually move to Windows 7, I am most likely going to use Windows 7 Professional, instead of Windows 7 Ultimate. Windows 7 Professional has SRP (just like Windows XP Professional) - the way I set up my system, AppLocker and SRP will serve identical purposes anyway.

Windows XP Professional, SP3: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=3223
Windows 7 Ultimate: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=14498
Windows 7 Professional: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=14481

So at the end of the day, who would want to use Windows 7 Ultimate, knowing that support will end in January 2015...about 4 years away?

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Re: Microsoft Support Lifecycle for Windows

Post by arran on 27/9/2010, 12:34

I am still using XP because I can't afford to buy 7 at the moment, its quite possible that I may probably skip 7 and that when I upgrade I would be buying the next latest version after 7 what ever that may be. I'm not to fussed if microsoft stops supporting xp and stops making security patches when a new vulnerability is discovered because of my security software and setup which is able to block all zero day exploits, but the day will come
when I want to install something which won't be possible because the software I want to install doesn't support XP.
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Re: Microsoft Support Lifecycle for Windows

Post by ssj100 on 27/9/2010, 13:59

Well, it depends what sort of new vulnerability is discovered. As I already said, a carefully crafted zero-day kernel level exploit can potentially bypass all security software. I had this discussion with tzuk before, and even he admitted defeat. This is why patching is very important. All security software and systems have potential holes (both discovered and undiscovered) - keeping your Windows system up to date is not hard to do, is completely free, and can only improve your security.

Of course, the probability of coming across such an exploit is nearly zero. For example, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who still use Windows 2000 and never get infected - any default-deny anti-execution mechanism will protect you from 99.9999% of all malware out there. And worse come to worse, restoring an image doesn't take long.

However (as you've implied), by around 2014, I'd be betting that less and less software will be supporting Windows XP. Therefore, it'd be a good time to upgrade to Windows 7.

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Re: Microsoft Support Lifecycle for Windows

Post by wat0114 on 1/10/2010, 06:36

In the charts look under the headings: Service Pack Support End Date and you will see it's blank. This has me thinking they don't know yet because there're no service packs released yet for Win 7, so support end dates are pending upon release of the SP's Smile

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Re: Microsoft Support Lifecycle for Windows

Post by ssj100 on 1/10/2010, 10:01

Not too sure wat0114. Even Wikipedia agrees with me haha:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7_editions#Windows_7_Ultimate
However, even though it is the consumer equivalent to Enterprise, Microsoft will only support Ultimate until 2015

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