January 2022 may sound like it’s a long way off, but for Windows 7 users, it’s a date to keep an eye on.
Even though Windows 7 reached its official end-of-life date in January 2020, there are still tens of millions of people using the operating system globally. Those users need support not only from Microsoft but software developers, too.
And for those using Chrome on Windows 7, Google has now set a specific date when support for your favorite browser will end.
When Is Google Ending Support for Chrome on Windows 7?
The official word is that Google will now end support for its Chrome browser on Windows 7 in January 2022. While this doesn’t sound long, it’s actually a six-month extension from the original support end-date, which was first set as July 2021.
The half-year extension gives existing Windows 7 users another chance to migrate from Windows 7 to an alternative operating system such as Windows 10. Or make alternative arrangements for their browser.
Although Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 officially, NetMarketShare indicates that the operating system still accounts for over 24 percent of the market. In fact, Windows 7’s market share has grown recently.
Considering the number of vulnerabilities and security issues facing Windows 7 and the multiple extensions to the support period, the figure remains high.
Why Is Google Extending Its Windows 7 Support?
The fact that many organizations have found migration difficult in 2020 doesn’t come as a surprise.
Writing on the Google Cloud Blog, Google Chrome Engineering Director, Max Christoff, said:
Migrating to Windows 10 was a part of many organizations’ roadmap for the year. But as new priorities for IT teams emerged, we’ve heard that 21% of organizations are still in the process of migrating to Windows 10.1 With this extension of support, enterprises with their upgrades still in progress can rest assured that their users remaining on Windows 7 will continue to benefit from Chrome’s security and productivity benefits.
Google’s primary focus, then, is on security. With such a large number of Windows 7 users across the consumer and enterprise world, additional security support is welcome. A large number of Windows 7 machines running critical hardware can ill-afford exposure to critical vulnerabilities.
The extension also moves Google towards Microsoft’s end of support date for enterprise users, currently set for some time in 2023. This support is exclusive to enterprise users who pay for support, rather than universal support for businesses and organizations running the old operating system.
However, if you are a Windows 7 consumer user, you really should consider upgrading to Windows 10 for a faster and more secure operating system experience.