Microsoft are set to discontinue support for the original ‘RTM’ (“release to manufacturing”) version of their Windows 7 operating system some 3 years after it was first released. Said support for the RTM version will end on April 9th 2013 in line with Microsoft’s policy of dropping support 24 months after the first service pack is released. Windows 7 Service Pack 1 will, however, continue to receive all updates.
Perhaps the key point here for anyone who is still using the original RTM version of the operating system is that they will no longer receive bug fixes or security patches unless they update to Service Pack 1. And really there is no reason not to do just that as the issues surrounding the original release of SP1 were ironed out some time ago.
Whilst support for the RTM version ends on April 9th (a ‘patch Tuesday’ day by the way) customers with Service Pack 1 will receive updates for quite some time yet – certain patches and fixes will be forthcoming all the way through to January the 14th 2020. This is hardly surprising given the popularity of Windows 7 with some suggesting it still holds around 50% of the entire Windows market, despite the recent release of Windows 8 and the lingering popularity of XP (which loses its own support completely in April 2014).
If you are still running the RTM, or are unsure as to which version of Windows 7 you have, then you can be assured of getting onto Service Pack One by switching on Automatic Updates. Alternatively, you can download the Service Pack directly from Microsoft via this link – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5842