Ever taken a sip of old milk?
If you are like me, when this happens you immediately flip over the carton searching wildly for an expiration date like this was the first time you ever considered that milk could have a best by date. In a similar way, you might be surprised to find that your Windows operating software has a sort of expiration date as well. In the PC world this is referred to as the Microsoft End of Sales or End of Lifecycle Support date.
By ‘sort of expiration date’ we do not mean to suggest that your laptop will curdle or explode but rather that it will reach two key dates: 1. End of Sales date at which point Microsoft will no longer continue to offer that particular model for sale, and; 2. End of Support date at which point Microsoft will no longer service your machine. While the first date is wise to know, it is the end of support date that is more pressing for individuals and business owners.
Once a Windows product has reached the end of support date Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance for that given model. The product will still be usable, but since it is vital to have the most up-to-date software and service packs installed, the end of support date can be crucial. Once a PC has outlived this date the product may become susceptible to malware, viruses, and is at greater risk for malicious hacking software.
So what to do if that date is approaching? First, make sure all the updated service packs for your device or software are installed, optimizing security and performance improvements. Then, start planning for what’s next – either a systems or hardware upgrade – because the end is nigh. You have been warned.
For more information, take a look at the Microsoft Lifecycle site at the link here, or search for your product specific information: