Microsoft completely ends support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 in under a month; now really is the time to move on
It is no secret that the uptake of Windows 11 is rather slow. Microsoft may be unlikely to publicly say as much, but the company will no doubt be extremely disappointed at the number of people who have made the leap to the latest version of its operating system.
All this could change in 2023, however. There are many people and businesses who have hung on to Windows 7 or Windows 8, despite the fact that mainstream supported ended back in 2020. But when January 10, 2023 rolls around, Microsoft will no longer even offer paid-for Extended Security Updates. And with the likes of Edge and Chrome no longer supporting the aged OSes, the time really has come to switch to Windows 11.
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Of course, for some people and companies the reason for sticking with Windows 7 or Windows 8 for so long has been that of compatibility. The hardware requirements for Windows 11 are such that systems running Windows 7 or 8 are unlikely to offer a simple upgrade path -- and then, of course, there is the matter of budget restraints preventing hardware upgrades.
Home users who have remained on Windows 7 or 8 have been doing so at their own risk for quite some time now, with official security updates having come to an end a while back. The option of paying for Extended Security Updates meant that companies not quite prepared, willing or able to embrace Windows 11 could buy themselves a little more time, but this lifeline is ending in a few short weeks.
On top of this, Microsoft has confirmed that support for Microsoft Edge and WebView2 for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 is ending. The company says:
With Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU) and Windows 8/8.1 end of support on January 10th, 2023, and Google Chrome ending support for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1, Microsoft Edge browser version 109 and WebView2 Runtime version 109 will be the last respective versions to support these operating systems. Additionally, WebView2 SDK versions 1.0.1519.0 and higher will no longer support Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1.
Both Microsoft Edge version 109 and WebView2 Runtime version 109 are scheduled for release the week of January 12th, 2023 (to learn more, see our release schedule). While Microsoft Edge and WebView2 Runtime versions 109 and earlier will continue to work on these operating systems, those versions will not receive new features, future security updates, or bug fixes.
There are not many options available to anyone affected by this. Microsoft would obviously like everyone to move to Windows 11, even if that means buying new hardware, but the only advice offered by the company is to "upgrade to Windows 10 or later".