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Windows 7 - and 8.1 - support ends for good

Windows 7 is finally officially dead. (Source: Microsoft)
Windows 7 is finally officially dead. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft has confirmed the ultimate end of Windows 7 support by finally pulling the last vestige of updates available to the OS. The Redmond giant has also now announced that its 8.1 successor is also now at the end of its life, although it will not be extended the same prolonged security-update palliative care of the preceding version.

Those still hanging onto their Windows 7 installs may now have to say a final goodbye, as Microsoft has announced the termination of its 10-year end-of-life care. The release of the newer 10 upgrade caused outcry among those who could not (or, just maybe, would not) update from what might have been one of the most popular OS versions from the Redmond giant.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has announced that Windows 7's Extended Security Update (ESU) program, whereby it continued to get relevant patches even in the absence of feature updates, is finally over. Windows 8.1 is not so lucky, however, having been cut off completely in terms of new versions as of January 2023.

Somewhat predictably, Microsoft recommends that users affected by this jarringly complete EOL upgrade to Windows 11 where possible, and, if not, to simply buy a new PC that can or already is. The OEM asserts that it has improved, "end-to-end" security compared to 8.1, especially now it will no longer be  officially served in any way.

Alternatively, Windows 10 is slated to remain supported until October 14, 2025.

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2023-01-12 (Update: 2023-01-12)