Published at : 14 Jan 2023 10:19 AM (IST)
Pour one out for Windows 7, the operating system that has been there for a decade but has only now reached the end of the line in terms of its level of security. It has been about three years since Microsoft announced that it would no longer provide mainstream support for Windows 7, and now the technology giant has announced that it will no longer provide security updates. This gives users who are still using Windows 7 the option to upgrade to a more recent operating system or to remain vulnerable to ongoing security threats.
After more than a decade of service, Windows 7 will no longer be supported as of January 2020; however, Microsoft is allowing customers to pay for extended security support until that date in order to help maintain legacy or older equipment that is difficult to upgrade. Examples of this include hospital scanning equipment and production line systems.
These comprehensive security patches have been completed as of today. It is unknown precisely how many desktop computers are still running Windows 7 (or connected to the internet, which increases their risk), although market share statistics suggests that the number might be as high as around one in ten systems.
Windows 7 will continue to function even if extended security updates are not installed; however, it will no longer get fixes for newly discovered or previously known security flaws.
Windows 8.1, the version of the operating system that came out after Windows 7 and replaced it, also reached the end-of-support milestone on Tuesday, nearly ten years after it was first made available to consumers. Microsoft has said that it would not be providing extended security updates for Windows 8.1. This decision may be due to the operating system’s historically low use, considering the fact that many users bypassed Windows 8.1 in favour of upgrading immediately to Windows 10.
In the meanwhile, the most recent version of Microsoft Edge, version 109, is set to be released on Thursday. This version is the most recent version to support the out-of-support Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 operating systems.