Microsoft has issued a patch to remind Windows 7 users that they’ll soon have no patches.
The update tells users that they won’t be able to get support for Windows 7 after 14 January 2020, and it’s effectively a nudge to upgrade to a later operating system (Microsoft has been pressuring people for a long time to upgrade to Windows 10).
What does end of support really mean?
Each version of Windows goes through different support stages. In mainstream support, it gets all the updates and patches you’d expect, but this phrase eventually ends, at which point the operating system version switches to extended support. This still provides security updates, but non-security updates are no longer available for desktop consumer-products. Enterprises can only get them with extended hotfix support.
Mainstream support for Windows 7 without Microsoft’s Service Pack one (SP1) addition ended on 9 April 2013. Those users that had installed SP1 still found mainstream support ending on 13 January 2015. Since that time, Windows 7 SP1 users have been on extended support. The end of support that Microsoft is talking about on 14 January 2020 is the end of that extended support, which is a little like running off a cliff, security-wise.