General News

Microsoft Windows – Past, Present and Future

Microsoft Windows currently dominates the operating system market share for desktop systems, as of May 2021 it was calculated that 73.54% of desktop systems run Windows, a country mile ahead of the 15.87% ran by Apple Mac OS.

Today’s topic is Microsoft Windows security, more specifically it is about the security patches and technical support provided by Microsoft across the most recent versions of Windows.

Windows XP (released in 2001)

Just over 7 years ago on April 8th 2014, Microsoft officially ceased all security updates for Windows XP, and in recent years the activation servers have also been shut down, so you will no longer be able to activate a new Windows XP system (not that they are necessarily sold anywhere).

If you are on this operating system, we suggest that you buy a new machine loaded with Windows 10, and fast! Because you’re using an extremely vulnerable machine. There are a portion of anti-virus applications that still support XP, but at anytime this can be cut and it will leave your data open to hackers.

All new & refurbished machines sold from our workshop are loaded with the latest version of Windows 10, so rest assured you will be secure.

Windows Vista (released in 2006)

Windows Vista had security updates ceased by Microsoft on April 11th 2017, so there is no longer any technical support or security updates for this operating system. The Windows Vista has shared the same fate as Windows XP and we suggest you move quickly when buying a new system, to ensure that none of your data is exposed.

We recommend taking any personal information, documents and applications that you may need off via removeable media (e.g. USB stick) and discarding the system (or send it to a metal scrap yard to be recycled).

As stated before, our new & refurbished machines are stocked with Windows 10 and it’s latest edition.

Windows 7 (released in 2009)

It was speculated earlier this year (2021) that roughly 200 million Windows systems are running older versions of Windows, mostly being Windows 7. As of January 14th 2020, Microsoft ceased all security patches for the operating system, so technical support is no longer available.

Up until July 29th 2016, Microsoft offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 from 7, but we at Solent Way Computers can assess your computer and if it meets the technical specification requirements for Windows 10 we can upgrade your system.

Windows 8 and 8.1 (released in 2012)

Windows 8 had all security updates ceased on January 12th 2016, however, Windows 8.1 is still receiving these security updates and technical support up until the proposed date January 10th 2023, so if you own a Windows 8.1 system, there is actually no harm in keeping it as your data is nowhere near as vulnerable as it is using earlier versions of Windows.

Windows 10 (released in 2015)

Windows 10 is the very-latest instalment of Windows, and it is also intended to be the very last as Microsoft continue to release updates and newer versions of Windows 10 in a similar way Apple does with its Apple Mac OS X operating system.

Update (24/06/2021): Microsoft have announced Windows 11, so Windows 10 is no longer intended to be the very last operating system that Microsoft release.


If you’re using any version of Windows before 8.1, then you will eventually be required to upgrade your system. Your older version of Windows won’t suddenly turn off, grow legs and run away, it will just slowly lose support from more and more application developers until eventually it becomes completely redundant.

Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading today’s article, we hope you have learned something new today about what potentially could be a system you’re using.

If you’re experiencing any computer issues or wish to upgrade/replace your current computer, please give us a call on 01329 535 001, or email us at [email protected]


Tags: General News

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