Microsoft Discontinues Support for Windows 7 ESUs and Windows 8.1

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Microsoft is finally ending support for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) and Windows 8.1. This means that the company will no longer provide software updates and technical assistance to PCs running legacy versions of Windows operating systems.

Microsoft announced the end of mainstream support of Windows 7 in January 2020. However, the company introduced an extended security update (ESU) program for businesses that were not ready to upgrade to Windows 10. It allowed customers to pay for crucial security updates and technical support for three additional years.

Starting today, Microsoft is ending support for these extended security updates for Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise editions. Users who will continue to run Windows 7 would be vulnerable to security vulnerabilities and other threats.

Microsoft advises Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10 or 11

Meanwhile, Microsoft is discontinuing support for Windows 8.1 today. The company isn’t providing an ESU program for these operating systems due to low usage. It is highly recommended that Windows 7 and 8.1 users should upgrade their PCs to Windows 10 or 11.

Keep in mind that most Windows 7 or 8.1 devices don’t support the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. This means that affected customers would need to purchase a new Windows 11 machine. “If devices do not meet the technical requirements to run a more current release of Windows, we recommend that you replace the device with one that supports Windows 11,” Microsoft explained in a support document.

It is important to note that Microsoft Edge and WebView2 Runtime 109 and Google Chrome 109 will be the last versions to support Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Going forward, IT admins will need to upgrade their fleet of PCs to protect end users. Let us know in the comments below if you have already planned upgrades in your organization.