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What just happened? Good news for everyone who still prefers Windows 7 over newer versions of the operating system. Google has extended Chrome support for the venerable OS by another six months, giving businesses whose plans to migrate to Windows 10 were put on hold because of the pandemic more breathing space.
Despite Windows 7 reaching its end of extended support period for non-paying users in January, it's still found on around a fifth of all Windows machines. Part of the reason for the slow decline is the pandemic; with businesses' IT departments having to deal with the shift to remote work, new security protocols, and other related projects, moving onto Windows 10 became less of a priority.
Operating system distribution from NetMarketShare. Yes, people still use Windows 8.1
"While the past few months served as a catalyst for technology investments and digital transformation initiatives for many organizations, for others, some planned IT projects may have had to take a back seat," wrote Google's engineering director for Chrome, Max Christoff.
Before the pandemic, Google said that it would continue to update Chrome on Windows 7 for 18 months after the latter's end of extended support date, which would have taken us to July 2021. Now, security updates have been extended to at least January 2022.
"Our hope is that this extension gives our enterprise customers the flexibility they need to continue supporting their workforce, while moving off of Windows 7 as their situation allows," Christoff added.
Back in the second quarter of 2020, a Google-commissioned report found that 21 percent of businesses were still in the process of migrating to Windows 10, while 1 percent planned to start migrating soon. It's likely that Covid-19 threw a spanner in many organizations' plans, delaying the upgrade from earlier Windows versions.