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.