Windows 7 is the legacy platform to end them all. Despite being nearly 15 years old, it is still widely used in business and even registers as a usage blip amongst gamers on Steam. However, the long goodbye for Windows 7 will reach a new phase this week when Microsoft will halt security updates for the Professional and Enterprise SKUs.
“To maintain the reliability and stability of Microsoft 365, we strongly recommend you take advantage of the latest hardware capabilities by moving to a new PC with Windows 11,” Microsoft explains. “PCs have changed substantially since Windows 7 was first released ten years ago. Today's computers are faster, more powerful, and sleeker—plus they come with Windows 11 already installed.”
Microsoft originally launched Windows 7 during October 2009 but it remained hugely popular even as Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 were introduced. It is worth noting Microsoft that regular support for Win7 ended in January 2015, meaning the OS no longer received new features.
Extended support ran through to January 2020 before finally cutting users from security updates too. However, many Windows 7 users are in enterprise and were simply not ready or incapable of upgrading to a new Windows.
End of the Road
As such, many turned to Microsoft's Extended Security Update (ESU) program. As the name suggests, this allows pro-level/enterprise customers to extend their security updates further. But even that comes to an end, and the cut off for ESU Windows 7 is coming tomorrow (Tuesday, January 10, 2023).
Incidentally, this will also be the End of Service (EOS) date for Windows 8.1, the much-maligned successor to Windows 7. Microsoft points out that most users on Win7 can upgrade to Windows 10, which will be supported until 2025.
“Most Windows 7 devices will not meet the hardware requirements for upgrading to Windows 11, as an alternative, compatible Windows 7 PCs can be upgraded to Windows 10 by purchasing and installing a full version of the software,” says Microsoft. “Before investing in a Windows 10 upgrade, please consider that Windows 10 will reach its end of support date on October 14, 2025.”
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