Microsoft discontinued support for Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU) and Windows 8 and 8.1 last week.

This is an unexpected blow to users who use these operating systems and who will have to upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 to continue receiving technical support and software updates.

“If you have devices running Windows 8.1, we recommend upgrading them to a more current, in-service, and supported Windows release. 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.”

wrote in a document about the end of Windows 8.1 support ending.

This also includes important security updates that were still available on Windows 7 systems through the ESU program, even though most other types of support for the OS ended back in January 2020. The company is adamant that it will not extend a similar ESU program to Windows 8 or 8.1.

Microsoft is no doubt urging Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 11, saying in a support document that those PCs running the latest OS are much faster and more powerful.

In its explanation, the company also says that most Windows 7 machines don’t meet the hardware requirements to upgrade to Windows 11, but added that users have the option to upgrade their Windows 7 PCs to Windows 10. However, Windows 10 support will end on October 14, 2025, so they’ll have to consider whether to take that intermediate step to Windows 10 or go all the way to Windows 11.

But it’s not the only company undertaking radical changes. Google has also warned that Chrome 109 is the last version of its operating system to support Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. Chrome 110 is tentatively scheduled to be released on February 7 and will be the first version of Chrome to require Windows 10 or 11.

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