Just a quick guide to help keep you informed about your home/business operating system software.  Over the years, Microsoft and other software developers truncate their old software to make room for the new and “improved” software.  Sometimes you upgrade to gain access to new features, but most of the time it is for security and compliance purposes.  Once a software developer discontinues or ends their old software they will no longer support it and stop releasing security patches/bug fixes.  Below are the life cycles for some Microsoft and Apple Operating Systems.

Note:  Mainstream support means that Microsoft is still working to add new features and functionality, after mainstream support ends you will only get updates that include bug fixes and security patches.  After the End of Life date you no longer receive updates at all and your operating system can become unsafe to use online.

Microsoft Operating Systems

  • Windows XP: I didn’t think i’d have to list this, but i am just for reference.  Microsoft ended XP on April 8th, 2014 after 12 years!
  • Windows Vista:  Microsoft ended Vista on April 11th, 2017.
  • Windows 7 Operating System:  Mainstream support ended January 13th, 2015, however it is not fully End of Life until January 14th, 2020
  • Windows 8.1 Operating System:  Mainstream support ended January 9th, 2018, however it is not fully End of Life until January 10th, 2023
  • Windows 10:  With Windows 10, Microsoft started doing things a little differently and have been releasing large updates in much shorter time intervals.


    To find out which version of Windows 10 your PC is running, press Windows logo key  + R, type winver, then select OK.

  • Windows 10 version history Date of availability End of service
    Windows 10, version 1709 October 17, 2017 April 9, 2019**
    Windows 10, version 1703 April 5, 2017 October 9, 2018**
    Windows 10, version 1607 August 2, 2016 April 10, 2018**
    Windows 10, version 1511 November 10, 2015 October 10, 2017**
    Windows 10, released July 2015 (version 1507) July 29, 2015 May 9, 2017


Apple OS Operating Systems

Apple’s approach to software versioning is more centralized around the hardware that runs it.  Most relatively new apple computers will support their latest OS at the time which is Mac OS High Sierra (10.13).  If you are unable to upgrade to this Mac OS version, then it is most likely soon time to replace your apple device.


  • These are the current Apple OS’s that are still usable and supported.  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201260
    • Note that older versions of their OS may still be functional, but will have limited software support and capabilities for updates.  Always check to make sure your specific Apple device fully supports the latest operating system before upgrading.
    • OS X Moutnain Lion (10.8)
    • OS X Mavericks (10.9)
    • OS X Yosemite (10.10)
    • OS X El Capitan (10.11)
    • macOS Sierra (10.12)
    • macOS High Sierra (10.13)


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