This was originally posted in the deviantART Software and OS forums...so, I decided to post this here as well.
For more information on these stories regarding the extension of support for Windows Vista and Windows 7, read these news articles:        
For anyone who is still using Windows Vista as well as Windows 7, there are some great news from Microsoft! Microsoft has changed its product support lifecycle policies outlining the extension of support for both consumer versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 (including Starter, Home Basic Home Premium and Ultimate).
This means that support for all versions of Windows Vista has been extended to 11 April 2017 and Windows 7 until no later than 14 January 2020, meaning that by the time these two products transition to Extended Support, these products will only get critical security updates. If Microsoft had not extended support for Windows Vista, the effect for less than 10% of internet connected users would have been devastating for customers running those editions of the operating systems as they wouldn't receive patches, both normal and security related, anymore after that date.
By the time Windows 8 comes out, the clock for Windows 7 users will start ticking. Microsoft will stop selling Windows 7 to direct OEM/terminate retail sales by the end of 2013 and will no longer permit OEMs to sell Windows 7 by the end of 2014. Customers can purchase a new PC with Windows 8 installed, which will include downgrade rights to either Windows 7 or Windows Vista Service Pack 2.
The plan will not include downgrade rights to Windows XP. Between the release of Windows 8 and until April 2014, Microsoft will be actively supporting four operating systems. As Microsoft has done in the past, Microsoft would continue to evaluate the support lifecycle for Windows Vista and make final decisions about extending support if and when it is necessary.
This change isn't cataclysmic by any means and just means that NT 6.1 based OSes will be maintained longer, which isn't too hard considering the familiarity between 6.1, 7, and 8 kernel bases.
Mind you, the kernels each have their own optimizations (or lack there of) and will need care to make sure everything stays efficient, but its not going to hurt anyone and will just prolong Windows 7 until people get used to the new UI in WinEight.
"We're not really going to put any time frame on how long we will support Product or Service X, but one day you will try to update your device and be told that you and your hardware have become obsolete. Have a nice day."
Terrible for businesses who make Big Important Decisions around support life cycles, but at least it gives users a reason to stay up to date, because you never know when the hammer's coming down. Developer willingness to support new versions first despite crippling incompatibilities with older versions speeds the process along too.