Microsoft has had a firm date to end support for Windows 7 on the books for over a year. They’ve insisted repeatedly that there was no flexibility in the date, so Windows 7 users would need to upgrade or risk not being protected by security patches.
Then the pandemic hit, and after wrestling with the decision for a number of months, the company decided to extend support after all.
This was done to give IT managers a bit more time to upgrade. If you’re still running one or more Windows 7 machines, you’ve got at least six more months to upgrade, perhaps longer. A six month extension is assured and beyond that, the company will reevaluate, based on prevailing conditions.
Microsoft isn’t the only company offering an extended grace period. Google has announced that they’ll continue Chrome support for Windows 7 through at least January 15th, 2022.
This is, of course, great news for anyone still running Windows 7, and there’s no denying that the sudden influx of tens of millions of people working from home forced big tech to innovate quickly to support that influx, it has hurt development in other ways.
Google’s Max Christoff, an Engineering Director for Chrome, summed it up thusly:
“While the past few months served as a catalyst for technology investments and digital transformation initiatives for many organizations, for others, some planned IT projects may have had to take a back seat.”
In any case, if you’re behind schedule in terms of migrating away from Windows 7, you can breathe a sigh of relief, and now have a bit more time to get it done.