If there’s three things we can count on in life, it’s death, taxes and software updates. Microsoft began 2020 with two such updates, killing off Windows 7 (more or less) while significantly upgrading its web browser ‘Edge.’ We’ll walk you through what both of these mean to you going forward.
Windows 7 reaches its end of life
Windows 7 was the workhorse operating system for both personal as well as enterprise PCs for years. It was so stable and beloved that many users and organizations resisted upgrading to the myriad versions Microsoft released in the ensuing decade-plus. But as of January 14th of this year, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7. That’s not to say your machine, if it is indeed still running Windows 7, will suddenly cease working. That doesn’t mean you should stick with 7, though — it presents a real, existential threat to the safety of your machine or enterprise if you don’t upgrade.
As Microsoft notes in their public release, “While you could continue to use your PC running Windows 7, without continued software and security updates, it will be at greater risk for viruses and malware. Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10.”
One of the most important reasons you ought to upgrade or update software is for the security patches. Microsoft will no longer release any of these for Windows 7, so if there’s a critical vulnerability found at any point in the future, there’s nothing you’ll be able to do to protect yourself while still using Windows 7. To make matters worse, if you have any technical issues at all, Microsoft will no longer provide support of any kind.
All that to say: thank you for your service, Windows 7. Windows 10 here we come!
Microsoft Edge turns over a new leaf
Ever since Microsoft lost the antitrust proceeding the Justice Department brought against the company in 2001, Internet Explorer has been on a seemingly steady and inexorable decline. It went from undisputed king of the browsers to being supplanted by Chrome, Safari, Firefox and a host of other niche providers. Then in 2015, Microsoft released a redesigned and rebuilt browser called ‘Edge.’ Built on its own own EdgeHTML and Chakra engines, it failed to make much a dent in the browser market.
A day after Microsoft ended support for Windows 7, it released a new version of Edge built on the Chromium platform. This means users can install and use extensions & add-ons within the Google Chrome universe on their Edge browser. This instant added functionality could be a huge boost to you (as well as Microsoft’s ecosystem).
What does this mean for you?
If you’re already on Windows 10, this might not mean much to you. Regardless of whether or not you used Edge previously, moving it to a Chromium ecosystem is a big change for its browser. Either way, if you need help navigating these updates, that’s what we’re here for! Give us a shout if you’d like to run through how either could impact your enterprise.