If you're still on Windows 7/8.1, it's time to say goodbye to Google Chrome

Even better, upgrade to Windows 10 at the very least

Google has joined the funeral procession for Windows 7 and 8.1, announcing the last Chrome update for the aging OSes will come in early February.

The end of support for Chrome on Windows 7 and 8.1 is tentatively planned for February 7 along with the release of Chrome 110, bringing Google in line with Microsoft's planned January 10 end date for supporting the older versions. Going forward, Google said, users really need to run a supported operating system.

"If you are currently on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, we encourage you to move to a supported Windows version before that date to ensure you continue to receive the latest security updates and Chrome features," Google said. 

Microsoft echoed that language when it announced the end of Windows 7 and 8.1: "Remember that using unsupported software may increase an organization's exposure to security risks or impact its ability to meet compliance obligations."

As Reg readers know, Chrome will still work on Windows 7 and 8.1 after support ends, but the browser won't get any additional updates – security patches included.

Speaking of unsupported…

Numbers vary slightly depending on who you ask, but it's generally believed that around 70 percent of PCs are running Windows 10. That's good in theory, but the news around Windows 11 isn't great. It only just recently surpassed Windows 7 in PC OS market share, reaching 13.5 percent to Windows 7's 10.7 percent.

Windows 11's adoption has been glacially slow, and for good reason: around 40 percent of devices that run Windows are unable to upgrade due to the onerous, yet apparently arbitrary, hardware requirements Microsoft put on the OS.

That wouldn't be a problem were Windows 10 long for this world, but it isn't. According to Microsoft, it "will continue to support at least one Windows 10 release until October 14, 2025." After that point, Win10's future is unclear, and it's only three years away.

Then again, if you are on Windows 7, let's recall that it entered the market in October 2009 and formally exited in early 2020. While Windows 8 launched in 2012 and its successor, 8.1, will stop receiving support in January of 2023, Windows 10 will simply be doing the same thing, having shown up in 2015 and with plans to bow out in 2025.

Whether the hardware of 2025 will be ready for a mass migration to Windows 11, however, remains to be seen. ®

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