As reported by The Verge, Microsoft’s cutting off Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 from security updates and technical support on January 10th 2023. But Edge isn’t the only major browser ditching Windows 7 and 8.1. In October, Google announced that Chrome will end support for Windows 7 and 8.1 on February 7th. Although both browsers will continue to work on these devices, they won’t receive any critical security updates or new features. Support for WebView2, the tool that allows developers to embed web-based content into their apps, is going away on January 10th, too. Some recent estimates from 2021 suggested that some 100 million computers are still running Windows 7.
Jake Moore, ESET’s security expert commented:“Outdated apps and operating systems may not fall over and crash immediately but they become a big risk once new vulnerabilities are inevitably located by threat actors. Without free and important system updates user’s machines could be targeted by a range of attacks which could be very dangerous for the computer and the data held on the device. It is therefore vital that people act now before it is too late and migrate to a supported operating system as soon as possible. This may be difficult for businesses but legacy systems can cause major problems without support and it will be just a matter of time before issues arise.
There has been a lot of advance warning from Microsoft about this removal of support but it is inevitable that millions of people will forget or procrastinate this important update. However, updating to Windows 10 or 11 updating to Win 10 or 11 should be seamless for most users and organizations and will potentially make your PC quicker and of course safer. If the update is not possible on a machine, this may be a wakeup call to purchase newer hardware which could still be cheaper than encountering a cyberattack.”