Just because Windows 7 is right around the corner doesn't mean Microsoft intends to immediately sweep Vista under the rug and forget about it. After some confusion around the 'nets today, a company spokesperson confirmed with PC World that its policy is to back an OS for at least four years from launch, meaning January 2011 here, but also said it plans to cut ties and drop mainstream support for the three consumer models within three years, before April 2012. Despite the minimum, most Windows variants have seen longer lifecycles -- XP, for example, had mainstream support for eight years after launch. Business and Enterprise users will still receive security updates until April 2017. Sure, it's good to see people will still have the option for Vista further down the road, but we don't expect a lot of OEMs or consumers will be opting for it once 7 goes gold.

Read - Vista's fading support
Read - XP's support lifecycle

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