Microsoft's support for the original release of Windows 7 is due to run out on 9 April, with the firm advising users to move to service pack 1 (SP1) to continue to enjoy support.
The advice came in a blog posting on Microsoft's Springboard Series blog from Stephen L Rose, Windows Commercial IT pro community manager.
Although Windows 7 was released in October 2009, Microsoft's current Windows support lifecycle specifies that support for any Windows version will end 24 months after the release of a service pack that supersedes it.
In this case, Windows 7 SP1 was released to the public in early 2011, which means that the original version will cease to be supported after less than four years on the market, while Windows XP was supported for over seven years in the same situation.
"Windows 7 RTM (with no service pack) will no longer be supported as of April 9th, 2013, following the standard Windows support lifecycle specifying that support ends 24 months after the release of a new service pack," Rose wrote on the blog.
Microsoft moved to reassure customers that mainstream support for Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise versions will continue until 13th January 2015, and with extended support, the deadline extends out to 14th January 2020.
Windows 7 SP1 can be downloaded from Microsoft's website with instructions on deploying, or installed using Windows Update, which means that most consumers will already have been upgraded to the latest release. The update takes about 30 minutes to install, according to Microsoft.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.