Windows 7 begins its last year of free-support life as time marches on

Windows 7 was introduced to the world in January of 2009, the successor to a fairly disastrous Windows Vista release, and over time became a favorite of enterprise and consumers alike for its fresh new look and no-nonsense approach. Vista had unleashed a number of problems to the Windows ecosystem, including an overbearing User Account Control (UAC) that had users needing to elevate security privileges for just about everything, a focus on new hardware that left a lot of legacy hardware without working device drivers, and mainly because of those two issues, a bad reputation among Windows users and the tech press.

Microsoft moved Steven Sinofsky from Office to “get the trains running on time,” which he largely did, fixing most of the problems of Vista, re-focusing the marketing on Windows 7 as something new and different, as opposed to Windows Vista R2, which is what it really was.

But time moves on, and after Sinofsky created a debacle of his own with Windows 8, and another reset, Microsoft has settled on Windows 10. In one year from today, Microsoft will end free support for Windows 7, with any enterprise stragglers needing to pay to continue to get security updates. Mary Jo Foley has all the details on what that support will look like after January 14, 2020, but for most consumer users, and a large swath of business users, the option to continue support by finally moving to Windows 10 may make the most sense.

We put up a poll on Twitter this morning, asking for your favorite operating system, and early results in this decidedly Windows Insider-centric crowd has Windows 10 leading by a large margin, but with Windows 7 at a solid #2:

Were you a Windows 7 fan? Are you hanging on still, like some 11% of our readers using Windows are? Is it time to say goodbye to Windows 7 and look toward the next big thing? Let us know in the comments below.

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