Paid Windows 7 ESU Microsoft Support Comes to an End This Week

On January 10, Microsoft will stop providing technical support and software updates for Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU), Windows 8, and 8.1. As the company has warned, users of those operating systems must upgrade to Windows 10 or 11. Users with outdated Windows operating systems on their machines can expect changes soon.

This includes the crucial security updates that Windows 7 systems continued to receive through the ESU program even after the majority of the OS’s other support ended in January 2020. A similar ESU program will not be made available for Windows 8 or 8.1, according to the company.

In a statement about the end of Windows 8.1 support, it was stated, “If you have devices running Windows 8.1, we recommend upgrading them to a more recent, in-service, and supported Windows release.” “We recommend that you replace the device with one that supports Windows 11 if devices do not meet the technical requirements to run a more recent release of Windows.”

Over 10% of Windows PCs are impacted

Many users need to make some choices. Windows 7 is installed on more than 11% of desktops globally, while Windows 8.1 is installed on 2.59 percent, according to StatCounter. Less than 1% of desktops running software from Redmond are powered by Windows 8.

In contrast, Windows 10 is installed on 68 percent of computers, while Windows 11—which has had a comparatively slow rate of consumer adoption—is installed on about 17 percent. Large organizations are starting to test Windows 11 seriously, though they typically adopt operating systems later than consumers do.

Microsoft advises Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 11 in a support document, saying “Since the initial release of Windows 7 ten years ago, PCs have undergone significant change. Modern computers are faster, more powerful, and more streamlined, and they already have Windows 11 installed.”

The majority of Windows 7 computers, it was noted, don’t have the hardware needed to run Windows 11, but users can choose to upgrade their Windows 7 PCs to Windows 10 instead. They must decide whether to make that intermediate step to Windows 10 or fully adopt Windows 11 because support for Windows 10 will end on October 14, 2025.

Microsoft Edge’s Overview

There are still more changes coming. The last version of Microsoft’s Edge browser and WebView2 Runtime to support Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 is version 109. Both are expected to be made available this week. The WebView2 Runtime’s Evergreen and Fixed versions will both be covered by the timeline.

Microsoft’s Edge team stated that versions 109 and earlier of WebView2 Runtime “will continue to function on these operating systems, but will not receive new features, future security updates, or bug fixes.” “The final supported version of Microsoft Edge for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2 is version 109. For as long as those operating systems are supported, Internet Explorer 11 will also be.”

Final Words

The last iteration of Chrome’s operating system to support Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, according to Google, is version 109. The first Chrome version to require Windows 10 or 11 is tentatively scheduled for release on February 7 and is called Chrome 110.

Older versions of Chrome will still function, but users of these operating systems won’t receive any new updates, according to a Google warning. “To ensure that you continue to receive the most recent security updates and Chrome features, we encourage you to move to a supported Windows version if you are currently using Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1.”