Changes are imminent for users running legacy versions of Windows operating systems on their machines. Microsoft has completely stopped support for Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU), and Windows 8 and 8.1, on Tuesday 10th January. This means users of those operating systems will need to shift to Windows 10 or 11 to continue getting technical assistance and software updates. This includes crucial security updates that were still coming to Windows 7 systems via the ESU program, even though most other support for the OS ended in January 2020. The company said it will not extend a similar ESU program for Windows 8 or 8.1.
“If you have devices running Windows 8.1, we recommend upgrading them to a more current, in-service, and supported Windows release,” written in a document by Microsoft about the end of Windows 8.1 support. “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 is pushing users to make the move to Windows 11, writing in a support document that “PCs have changed substantially since Windows 7 was first released 10 years ago. Today’s computers are faster, more powerful, and sleeker – plus they come with Windows 11 already installed.”
It wrote that most Windows 7 machines don’t meet the hardware requirements for upgrading to Windows 11 but added that users have the option to upgrade to PCs running Windows 10 or 11 instead. However, support for Windows 10 will end on 14 October 2025, so they will have to weigh whether to take that intermediate step to Windows 10 or go all in with Windows 11.
Source: The Register