Recap: Next Tuesday (January 14), Windows 7 will finally reach its end of extended support, which means that unless you’re a business willing to pay, you can wave goodbye to security updates and technical assistance from Microsoft. But there’s some good news for Chrome users: Google has pledged to keep updating its browser on the aging OS for at least the next 18 months.
Enterprise users on Windows 7 can continue to receive extended security updates (ESUs) after January 14 by paying. They’re not cheap, costing $25/$50 (depending on the version of Windows) per machine in year one, before increasing to $50/$100 in year two and $100/$200 for the third year.
Plenty of everyday users are planning on sticking with Windows 7, too. And while they might not be getting any ESUs, they can still use the world’s most popular web browser. “We will continue to fully support Chrome on Windows 7 for a minimum of 18 months from Microsoft’s End of Life date, until at least July 15, 2021,” writes Chrome's engineering director, Max Christoff.
The main reason for Chrome extending its support is so enterprise users can keep benefiting from the browser while they migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10. It can be a lengthy process, especially in large organizations that have thousands of PCs.
Last summer, a report showed that many businesses were taking too long to migrate to Windows 10. Retail, distribution, and transport industries were furthest behind with 65 percent of devices migrated, though financial services, public sector, construction and property, and media, leisure and entertainment were only slightly ahead at 66 percent.
Windows 7 still has a 26 percent share of the worldwide Windows market, so Chrome’s extended support will be welcomed by many.