Google to Support Chrome on Windows 7 Through at Least Mid-2021

Posted on January 10, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 7 with 6 Comments

With Windows 7 still in use by about 500 million people, Google has pledged to support Chrome on that platform past its support end-of-life (EOL) next week.

“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,” Google Chrome engineering director Max Christoff writes in a post to the firm’s Google Cloud blog. “Chrome will continue to provide built-in security capabilities that help keep users safe while on the web. With Safe Browsing, Site Isolation, and new advanced password and phishing protections, Chrome proactively helps protect users working in the cloud.”

Google had previously supported Windows XP, which had a similarly-highly usage rate at the time of its support cessation, for many additional months, giving users some breathing room. In fact, Google supported XP for about two years after that system was retired by Microsoft. (It also killed support for Windows Vista at the same time it did so for XP, which is kind of interesting.)

And that’s the problem: With several hundred million users, these retired platforms are too big of an opportunity to ignore. We see this, too, in AV, where Windows 7 users can expect those vendors to likewise continuing supporting the platform for as long as it makes sense to do so. The only question is the time frame, which I assume will vary according to the Windows 7 usage rate over time and by AV vendor.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Google to Support Chrome on Windows 7 Through at Least Mid-2021”

  1. wbhite

    As an IT admin, this goes against everything I know to be good practice, but if you're running Windows 7 behind a firewall with an updated and supported version of Chrome, and all you do is web browsing, chances are that you'll be alright (for a while, anyway).

  2. IanYates82

    I'm curious to see how long Microsoft continues to support new Edge on Windows 7.

    Will they just rely on Google to do the work (or at least avoid taking dependencies on newer Windows), or will they maintain Windows 7 support manually in its own fork eventually when Google retires it? If enterprises are paying for Windows 7 support now, and they can get edge on Windows 7 now, then they're probably right to feel they're entitled to get edge supported on Windows 7 for the duration of the extended support too.

  3. christian.hvid

    (It also killed support for Windows Vista at the same time it did so for XP, which is kind of interesting.)

    It just underlines that Google doesn't care about Microsoft's product life cycles, it cares about usage share. If XP and Vista simultaneously fell below whatever threshold Google has set, it makes sense to end support for both at the same time.

  4. dftf

    It will be interesting to see how long the major browsers support Windows 7 for.

    Google Chrome v49, released March 2016, and Firefox ESR 52.9.0, released June 2018 (supported until September 2019, if I recall correctly?), were the last for XP and Vista. So given XP support ended April 2014, and Vista on April 2017, XP had a supported browser for around 5.5 years after its support ended, and Vista around 2.5 years.

    Maybe Firefox will at-least support Windows 7 for the duration of the 3-year enterprise extension (until Jan 2023)?

    The one wildcard here is Microsoft's own Edge, based on Chrome. How long will that support Windows 7 for?

  5. dftf

    As for anti-virus apps, be interesting to see if Microsoft Security Essentials definitions continue on Windows 7. I recall an article recently where Microsoft confirmed they would, for at-least a year after. But maybe after that, for businesses, they will say "it's SCEP or nothing"?

    (Though oddly, the "Microsoft Safety Scanner", a standalone, single .EXE download, virus and malware scanner that essentially uses the same definitions as Defender/MSE/SCEP, still runs on both XP and Vista, last time I tried it.)

  6. hrlngrv

    Why bother? There'll always be IE11.