Pour one out for Windows 7, an operating system that has been in use for ten years but has now reached the end of the security chain. After ending general support for Windows 7 around three years ago, the tech giant will no longer offer security updates, giving the remaining users the choice of upgrading to a more recent operating system or continuing to be exposed to continuous security risks.
After more than a decade of service, Windows 7 was retired in January 2020, but Microsoft enabled users to pay for additional security protection to assist preserve legacy or older equipment that is difficult to replace, such as production line systems and hospital scanning equipment.
Today marked the conclusion of those prolonged security patches. Although the precise number of Windows 7 PCs still in use (or online, which raises their risk) is unknown, some market share estimates put the figure as high as one in ten desktop computers.
Windows 7 will continue to function without prolonged security updates, but it won’t be patched for both new and old security flaws.
Tuesday marked the end of support for Windows 8.1, the operating system version that replaced Windows 7 and was made available over ten years ago. Given that many people bypassed the operating system and went directly to Windows 10, Microsoft stated that it will not provide extended security updates for Windows 8.1. This may be due to the operating system’s historically low use.
The most recent version of Microsoft Edge (version 109), which will be available on Thursday, is the last to support the deprecated versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.