Microsoft may have stopped providing security updates for Windows 7 almost two years ago. However, enough people are still using the old Windows operating system for Google to keep patching Chrome, at least for now.
As spotted by Ghacks, Google updated an older November 2020 blog post to clarify that it will now support Chrome on Windows 7 “until January 15, 2023, for critical security and stability updates. “.
In January 2020, just days before Microsoft called end of life (EoL) on Windows 7, Google said Chrome would continue to support the operating system until at least July 15, 2021, or so. 18 months after Microsoft stopped supporting it.
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Google offered extended Chrome support for Windows 7 to help organizations still migrating from Chrome to Windows 10.
Chrome, of course, is the dominant browser on Windows 7, Windows 10 and likely will remain so for Windows 11. Before support for Windows 7 ended, Microsoft released Edge, a browser based on Google’s open source Chromium project.
Microsoft announced the switch to Chromium in December 2018 and in doing so extended Edge support from Windows 10 to Windows 7, macOS, and more recently Linux.
Google’s new one-year extension means it has extended Chrome support for Windows 7 for two years since its original end date. The new date is aligned with Microsoft’s plans for business customers who still pay for Windows 7 security updates.
In November 2020, Google justified its decision to expand support for Chrome for Windows 7 because 21% of organizations using Chrome were still migrating to Windows 10.
Google hasn’t provided updated statistics on the share of Chrome users still running Windows 7, but the additional year suggests that a significant proportion of systems are still running Windows 7.
Some of these systems are said to be in companies that pay Microsoft for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU). Microsoft announced in 2018 that it would provide Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 for three years at from the end of life, i.e. until January 2023.
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Windows 7 maintenance is expensive today, but earlier this month Microsoft clarified that it would not extend support further.
“For Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 7 Professional for Embedded Systems, the Extended Security Update (ESU) program will enter its third and final year of extended support starting February 8, 2022 and ending January 10, 2023,” Microsoft said. in an update.
According to Statcounter, Windows 7 still accounts for 6.9% of desktops in the United States and 13.5% of desktops worldwide.