Google ends Chrome support for Windows 7 and 8.1 in early 2023
Google Chrome users who run the web browser on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices will soon have to do without updates for the web browser. Google announced today that its support for the two operating systems will end in early 2023.
Windows 7 is in its third year of extended support currently at Microsoft. The last year of support ends on January 10th, 2023. Similarly, Windows 8.1's support will run out on the same day in 2023. With official support by Microsoft removed. Google decided to follow Microsoft's lead and drop support for the two operating systems in Chrome.
The company plans to end support officially on February 7th, 2023 with the release of Google Chrome 110 Stable. Future versions of Chrome won't be released for Windows 7 and 8.1 anymore, according to Google. Whether the company plans to block installations of Chrome or manual updates on the unsupported systems remains to be seen.
Chrome users who run the web browser on unsupported versions may continue using the latest versions released before end of support. It is generally not recommended to do so, as these will contain bugs and security issues that Google addresses in Chrome for supported operating systems only.
Most Chromium-based browser makers may follow Google. Major browser makers such as Microsoft, Brave, Opera or Vivaldi have yet to reveal whether they plan to extend support for the unsupported operating systems or extend it to provide users who run browsers on the unsupported versions of Windows with updates. Chrome users may find a new haven in Firefox, at least for the short term. Mozilla has yet to announce its plans for support going forward, though.
Windows 7 and 8.1 hold a sizeable share of the desktop operating system market. Statcounter sees both operating systems at about 14% of the overall Windows usage share worldwide. While these stats are not exact, they suggest that millions of devices are still running these operating system versions.
With Google removing support early, it is likely that other browsers will benefit from the gap that the decision leaves in the short term.
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