- While Windows 7 and 8.1 devices will continue to work, without security or software updates, these devices will be more vulnerable to viruses and malware.
- Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome version 109 are the last version of browsers to support Windows 7 and 8.1.
- Microsoft is not offering free upgrade paths from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 or 11.
Microsoft has officially ended support for devices running Windows 7 with Extended Security Update (ESU) and Windows 8.1. Users running these versions of Windows will no longer receive software updates, security fixes, and technical support.
Microsoft is now recommending users upgrade their devices to a supported version of Windows, such as Windows 11 or 10. While Windows 7 and 8.1 devices will continue to work, without security or software updates, these devices will be more vulnerable to viruses and malware.
To recall, Windows 8.1 was released back in 2013 as a free upgrade to Windows 8, which brought back the Start button on the taskbar with better mice and keyboard support. Windows 8.1 mainstream support ended on January 9, 2018, and now it has reached the end of extended support. Microsoft has also clarified that it will not offer ESU program for Windows 8.1.
On the other hand, the Windows 7 mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015, while the extended support ended on January 14, 2020. However, Microsoft offered the ESU program to businesses running Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise editions. With the ESU program, Windows 7 users received additional three years of security updates by paying an additional fee to Microsoft, which increased each year.
Further, Microsoft Edge version 109 will be the last version of the browser to support Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, which is scheduled to release on January 12, 2023. Similarly, Google Chrome version 109 is the last version of Chrome that will support Windows 7 and 8.1 devices. Chrome 110 is the first version that requires Windows 10 or later operating system.
Microsoft is not offering free upgrade paths from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 or 11. Users who choose to upgrade to a newer version of Windows will have to buy a license, or they can buy a new PC that comes pre-installed with Windows.