Windows 7 and Windows 8 have entered the last stretch of their existence. Sure, no one will be coming to uninstall the operating system from your PC, or upgrade you to Windows 10 or 11, but official software support from Microsoft, which still keeps these systems safe, will be ending. With the security updates, support for the Microsoft Edge browser for these platforms will also disappear, meaning that browsing the internet will no longer be safe in many ways.
With security updates, Microsoft Edge also ends support for Windows 7 and 8
On January 10, 2023, Microsoft will completely end support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 operating systems. They were already removed from the list of officially supported systems a few years ago, but there was a so-called “Extended Security Update” period, dedicated mainly to companies that wanted to pay to extend the period in which older operating systems remained usable and secure. Even ordinary users could benefit from these updates through various methods of forcing the system to deliver them, but as of January 10, Microsoft will no longer develop new updates.
Thus, any new vulnerability discovered in Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 will be exploitable by anyone. More seriously, Microsoft will also stop support for WebView 2, the web interface that appears in Windows when you open a web page that doesn’t appear in the default browser, on January 12. Edge and WebView2 will remain at version 109 as of this date, which means that even browsing the web will no longer be safe, as any vulnerabilities discovered in this browser can also be exploited.
The alternative for those using the old operating systems would be protective software such as antivirus and firewall, as well as using other browsers that still offer support for the old platforms. However, Edge and Chrome, the most popular on the market, will no longer be secure. And Google has previously announced that Chrome version 109 will be the last version compatible with Windows 7.
Microsoft is advising users to at least upgrade to Windows 10 and asking developers to stop software support for these versions of Windows. Doing so would encourage the move to more secure versions of the operating system.