Operating system created by Microsoft, Windows 7 is the most recent major version of the Windows NT operating system. Manufacturing began on July 22, 2009, and it was made widely accessible on October 22, 2009, according to the company. It is the long-awaited successor to Windows Vista, which was launched almost three years ago. In November 2012, it was superseded by Windows 8, which was given to the product after it had been around for more than three years. It remained a personal computer operating system for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablet computers, and media centre PCs. Users were able to get security updates, software updates, PC driver updates, and technical assistance until April 9, 2013, after which the installation of Service Pack 1 was needed in order to continue receiving support and updates. Windows Server 2008 R2, the server-side equivalent to Windows 7, was also launched at the same time. The latest supported windows version based on this operating system, Windows Embedded POSReady 7, was released on July 1, 2011, and it is still in use today. On January 12, 2016, Microsoft announced that it will no longer support Internet Explorer versions older than Internet Explorer 11, which were running on Windows 7. Extended support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020, more than ten years after the operating system's release. As a result, most users will no longer be able to receive additional support or security updates, and all PCs running Windows 7 versions newer than KB4499164 released in May 2019 will display a full-screen update warning notification with an information page link starting on January 15, 2020. A support package for businesses is now available, which will provide security updates for Windows 7 for up to four years beyond the operating system's official end of life. However, security updates for Windows Embedded POSReady 7, the last Windows 7 version, will continue to be provided until October 2021.
Windows 7 was supposed to be an incremental update to Microsoft Windows, addressing the negative critical response received by Windows Vista while preserving device and software compatibility with existing hardware and applications. A revamped taskbar that enables programmes to be "pinned" to it, as well as additional window management capabilities, marked a continuation of the advancements made in Windows Aero (the user interface introduced in Windows Vista). Further enhancements to the operating system include the addition of libraries, the new file-sharing system HomeGroup, and the ability to accept input via multiple touch screens. There has also been an addition of a new "Action Center" interface to give an overview of system security and maintenance information, as well as modifications to the User Account Control system to make it less invasive. Several standard programmes, including Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Player, and Windows Media Center, were also upgraded to work with Windows 7 as well.