MICROSOFT HAS POSTED a list of service reaching the end of their support cycle, confirming that Windows 7 will reach extended support from January 2015.
Windows 7 in all its versions - Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, Windows Server 2008, Windows Storage Server 2008, Windows Exchange Server 2010, Dynamics CS 2010 and Dynamics NAV 2009 - will move to extended support on 13 January 2015.
This is not "End of Life" in the way that Microsoft cut off Windows XP support in April, but rather a transition to being not actively developed, instead being restricted to receiving only patches rather than enhancements and features.
At the same time, Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 Service Pack 3 and Visual Studio 2012 will require updating to the latest service packs to continue receiving updates.
A number of products will also reach End of Life on the same day, with Host Integration Server 2004, Systems Management Server 2003, Virtual Server 2005 and Visual Foxpro 9.0 will all set go the way of Windows XP.
Even before that, several products will be getting the same treatment on 14 October, including Windows CE 5.0 which reaches end of life along with Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004. Office 2010 and Sharepoint Server 2010 will require updating from Service Pack 1.
Finally, Windows Phone 7.8, the intermediate package designed to address the problems faced by Windows Phone 7.5 owners as they waited for Windows Phone 8, will move to extended support on 9 September.
Microsoft has advised users to upgrade or update their software as soon as possible, or contact their system administrator for further information.
Few of these announcements will have an impact on most end users, however following the adverse reaction to the announcement of the End of Life for Windows XP, coupled with the nearly universal panning of Windows 8.x, Microsoft will need to manage these announcements carefully to avoid Orson Welles' War of the Worlds style panic from the Windows faithful as they scramble to upgrade to the upcoming Windows 9.