Microsoft discontinues security updates for Windows 7

Windows 7, the operating system that has been with us for a decade or so, now sees the end of security updates.

Three years have passed since Microsoft discontinued mainstream support for Windows 7, the Redmond-based company will no longer provide security updates, leaving users with the choice of upgrading their PCs to a newer operating system or staying with Window 7 and being exposed to ongoing security threats.

The project Windows 7 was dropped in January 2020 after more than a decade of service, but Microsoft has allowed customers who have particular, older equipment that is not easy to upgrade (e.g., hospital scanning equipment or systems that affect production lines) to pay to still have security support.

These extended security updates ended today.

It is not known exactly how many PCs running Windows 7 are still running (or connected to the Internet, which increases the risk), but some data put the number at about one in 10 computers. Of course, Windows 7 will continue to run, but it will no longer receive new security updates.

Windows 8.1, the version of the operating system following Windows 7, almost 10 years after its release has also reached its end, as of Tuesday there will be no more support. Microsoft said that it does not offer security updates for Windows 8.1, which could be due to its low usage, as many have switched directly to Windows 10.

Meanwhile, the release of the latest version of Microsoft Edge (version 109) is scheduled for Thursday, and it will be the last version to support Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.