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Google to Windows 7 users: Chrome support will run until at least July 2021


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Google to Windows 7 users: Chrome support will run until at least July 2021

"https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-to-windows-7-users-chrome-support-will-run-until-at-least-july-2021/"

Just as it did for Windows XP, Google is offering extended Chrome support for Windows 7 for at least 18 months after Microsoft stops delivering free patches for the desktop OS.  

As most ZDNet readers would know, Microsoft is ending free support of Windows 7 next week, on January 14, 2020. Yet US government website traffic suggests nearly 20% of visitors who use PCs are still running Windows 7. 

While consumers can either upgrade or live dangerously without Microsoft patches, businesses do have the option to pay for Extended Security Updates for Windows 7. It's the business crowd that Google is considering with its new minimum 18-month extension on Chrome support for Windows 7 PCs. 

"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," Max Christoff, engineering director at Google Chrome, said.  

Of course, Christoff gives a plug to Chromebooks and Chrome OS, arguing IT teams want the latest OS version quickly with minimal cost and disruption, and what better time to shift gears when "there's a major reliance on cloud and SaaS apps", which all run in the browser anyway.

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Hehe, I just ordered a brand new high-end rig with Windows 7 installed, so I'll be running for a lot longer than 18 months.  I'm using SRWare Iron which is based on Chromium (just without Google's built in spyware/telemetry/adware/targeted advertising etc.), so once Google changes the base Chromium code to no longer be compatible with Windows 7, Iron will no doubt follow shortly thereafter, but of course there's always Firefox as an option assuming they don't drop 7 support any time soon.

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For XP the support was for 2 yrs after EOL so would be similarly for win 7 but what abt telemetry issues with FF?. So after 2 yrs one will be forced to change OS, then?

 

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FF ended support for XP sometime in 2018 or so, but there is no such issues with nix, where chromium & FF continue to support all distros with old hardwares too.

 

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2 hours ago, sman said:

For XP the support was for 2 yrs after EOL so would be similarly for win 7 but what abt telemetry issues with FF?. So after 2 yrs one will be forced to change OS, then?

As far as I know there are no real telemetry issues with Firefox as long as you don't sign in.  The trouble with Chrome is that it has tons of embedded tracking and telemetry collection baked into it.  I've dug through Firefox's settings, and while they do have some standard telemetry stuff (nowhere near the degree of what Google has in their browser; no one comes close to that), and there are options to turn it all off (which I have of course), and most of it is only active if you sign in, which I never do (never even created a Firefox/Mozilla account).  As for XP, that's completely different.  As I've said many times before in these discussions (which you seem to keep forgetting apparently), the API's in Windows 7 are virtually identical to those in Windows 10, so the vast majority of software designed to run in Windows 10 will run natively in Windows 7 without any issues, and the same goes for software designed for Windows 7; it should have no trouble running in Windows 10.  There are a few differences in a few low level hardware API's (i.e. DX12 primarily), however that shouldn't impact a web browser in any way.

2 hours ago, sman said:

FF ended support for XP sometime in 2018 or so, but there is no such issues with nix, where chromium & FF continue to support all distros with old hardwares too.

I have new hardware running Windows 7; it's the reverse situation.  Linux just won't work; I've looked into it and it isn't adequate for my needs so I will be sticking with Windows 7 for the foreseeable future (likely 10+ years).

Edited by exile360
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@exile360If OS versions are not a criteria why should chrome come out with that Win 7 support upto 18 months after EOL in the first case and why not state that support will continue w/o giving any time frame?? Yes one can continue to use unsupported browsers and browse at their own risk and in websites supported. Like I said Prime will not work whem Chrome & FF pull the plug..

Edited by sman
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A classic case of Google suggesting users to upgrade to Win 10 against a particular vulnerability in Win 7 (privilege escalation) . so, why should google advise that, if API' are identical and no difference in working.

Google Says Upgrade To Windows 10 After Critical Flaws Found In Chrome And Windows 

"https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2019/03/09/google-says-upgrade-to-windows-10-after-critical-flaws-found-in-chrome-and-windows-7/#2ab38c25c1b1"

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8 hours ago, sman said:

@exile360If OS versions are not a criteria why should chrome come out with that Win 7 support upto 18 months after EOL in the first case and why not state that support will continue w/o giving any time frame?? Yes one can continue to use unsupported browsers and browse at their own risk and in websites supported. Like I said Prime will not work whem Chrome & FF pull the plug..

Google is probably going to implement OS detection that will block their browser from launching on 7, that's why.  As long as Mozilla continues to do things as they have in the past then Firefox should continue to work on 7 as long as it is compatible.

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7 hours ago, sman said:

A classic case of Google suggesting users to upgrade to Win 10 against a particular vulnerability in Win 7 (privilege escalation) . so, why should google advise that, if API' are identical and no difference in working.

Google Says Upgrade To Windows 10 After Critical Flaws Found In Chrome And Windows 

"https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2019/03/09/google-says-upgrade-to-windows-10-after-critical-flaws-found-in-chrome-and-windows-7/#2ab38c25c1b1"

That's from March of last year.  That vulnerability has long since been patched, and it was only found to be exploiting 32 bit versions of Windows 7 in the wild to begin with.

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@exile360Why should Google implement OS detection, if OS  not a criteria for it's browser working/

And the vulnerability (privilege escalation) whether was exploited in wild in 32 bit, Still why should Google call for OS upgradation, if OS is not ac riteria  for it's working?

Certainly there are some core factors with OS versions, which browsers need to take into account so that it works with particular OS and Firefox stopped support for XP 4 yrs after EOL and same can apply in win 7 case too and not an eternal support.. and as i said  Prime will not work in unsupported browsers and so, how how can Prime be accessed after 4 yrs when chrome & FF pull the plug and keep using Win7 after 4 yrs (for 10+ yrs).?

 

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Because just like Microsoft, Google wants to encourage everyone to get onto the latest OS which is sound from a security perspective.  There is no difference with regards to browser compatibility between Windows 10 and Windows 7.  The fact of the matter is that Microsoft really didn't change much fundamentally under the hood in 10, at least with regards to primary software and hardware APIs and application compatibility.  Of course Google would much rather everyone start using Android/ChromeOS based devices most of all ;).

I can't predict the future so I don't know what will happen with Amazon Prime once/if both Chromium and Firefox stop supporting 7, however Amazon Prime video streaming isn't exactly a necessity for me anyway.  Perhaps it is for you and that's why you keep bringing it up?

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@exile360Prime is only an ex. for websites calling for latest browsers, OS to access thesites services.. there may be similar such sites which one may not be able to acess once chrome & FF pull the plug. IF AAPI's are similar then why should browsers pull the plug with users still around. doesn't make any sense. Will MBAM declare of it's eternal support for Win 7 , atleast for your 10+ yrs of further use? 

And Prime video has such a large user base and why should prime limit it's site services instead of allowing access with it's feasibility and compatibility with win 7 & win 10. this too doesn't make sense.

And so far, have never come across any such reports, that browsers can be supported even after EOL, even from developers. strange.. while most call for OS upgradation to win 10 andf I would love to see one article/report stating EOL is not the end and that users can continue to work under the OS even after EOL.

First of all, MBAM s confirmation of it's support that too eternal support for Win7. will MBA confirm this?

Edited by sman
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I have never seen a single website with an OS requirement.  Some have requirements for a specific browser or plugin version (like Flash; though it is now being phased out to be replaced by HTML5 which all modern browsers natively support), but that's about it.  Windows XP can still be used to access any website and its support ended long ago.  Given the fact that 7 is far newer and supports the same APIs and application compatibility as Windows 10, I'm sure that 7 will be able to linger even longer.  I mean heck, Amazon Prime still works with Internet Explorer 11 which has been 'obsolete' for quite a long while now.

As for Malwarebytes, I don't know what their long term plans are, however what they have stated is that they have no plans currently to phase out support for the OS, even after Microsoft ends support for it, and thanks to what I've repeatedly stated regarding application compatibility, hardware driver and software API's being virtually identical between 7 and 10, there is no reason for Malwarebytes to stop supporting it for as long as Windows 10 remains as it is.  If Microsoft releases a new version of Windows or an update to Windows 10 which breaks backwards compatibility with common x86/x64 applications then that would be a point where developers like Malwarebytes might need to reassess maintaining compatibility with Windows 7, however until that day comes they have no reason to stop supporting it.  Windows 10 vs Windows 7 is very different from Windows XP vs Windows 7; in Vista, and to some degree in 7 Microsoft made wholesale changes to the underlying API's and driver frameworks that govern how applications and hardware function.  It is because of these changes that maintaining backwards compatibility with Windows XP for too long doesn't make sense (even though many modern applications still run fine on Windows XP), but Windows 7 is very different because it is a 'modern' operating system with virtually identical application compatibility to that of Windows 10.  It is the same reason that even hardware drivers that are written explicitly for Windows 10 can still be installed on a Windows 7 system (though the INI file may need to be edited to tell the installer that Windows 7 is not incompatible, depending on how the developer implemented it) and I've already seen where some users have edited drivers that were supposed to be for Windows 10 only to work on Windows 7.  For software applications it is much easier because they don't have the same kinds of low level requirements as hardware drivers do, so as long as the system has the required API's and functions for the application to be able to install and function properly there is no reason for it not to work on the older operating system.

The trouble is that Microsoft made most of the major changes and advancements for low level API's and driver frameworks in Vista and further refined them in 7 (this is why not all applications and drivers that work on 7/8/8.1/10 will work on Vista) and they made very few changes (if any) in Windows 10.  So functionally from the perspective of an application, there is essentially no difference between running on Windows 7 or Windows 10 and this is why 7 is likely to last as long as Windows 10 does.

Things could always change though, and if Microsoft does make major architectural changes under the hood in a future Windows 10 update which break compatibility with previous generations of software and drivers then we'll have to reassess the situation, but you must also keep in mind that if they did make such changes it would also render all existing applications and drivers that now work on and are designed for Windows 10 incompatible with the updated version which would be a very hard thing to do, both for Microsoft and for the countless developers and engineers that support applications and hardware designed for the OS.

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@exile360All said, there is one aspect of no. of OS activation in it's lifetime is limited to 50 (long time back maybe years back, I created a topic in the forum , on this about the windows license activation limited to 50 during it's lifetime). anything more one has to approach MS for further use. so this could be one bottleneck, for using a Windows version license (which is limited to 50 bearing in mind it's life cycle of support of 10 yrs). if one were to go on using it beyond support cycle, will have to check this aspect with MS for sure..

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Sure, but I doubt I'll be reinstalling my OS 50 times over the next 10 or so years; that would be an average of 5 times per year which, if I have to reformat Windows that many times, definitely indicates a major issue.

Besides that, I actually purchased 2 spare licenses for Windows 7 for cheap once the EOL date was approaching, so in addition to the 4 licenses I have from my existing systems (which haven't been activated anywhere near 50 times), I still have 2 spares that are pristine and have never been used.  Beyond that, I'm certain Microsoft would just reset the license if I had to call them as this is how they've always handled such issues in the past when activation fails as long as the license is valid (which all of mine are).

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Tks.It's only wait 7 watch what happens after 14th Jan, how hackers react to EOL end and exploit it's weaknesses. happy Windowing !!

 

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I wish them luck.  Hacking into my rig will not be easy considering all I do to harden my systems to reduce the potential attack surface.  For example, I was completely immune to the now infamous Eternal Blue exploit used to distribute the WannaCry ransomware even before Microsoft patched it, and the same has been true for many other exploits and vulnerabilities that have emerged in the past.

That doesn't even account for the excellent exploit defense I get through Malwarebytes of course ;).

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By the way, just FYI, it's been 15 years or more since I had any sort of infection on any of my systems so I suspect my safer than most browsing habits will go far in keeping my 'insecure' Windows 7 OS safe.

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Of course not, hence why I do things like hang out on security forums, stay on top of the latest threats, vulnerabilities and attack vectors, and why I continue to stay up to date on the latest hardware and software developments in the tech industry.  I am anything but complacent when it comes to PC security (FYI, I was hired on by Malwarebytes as their first QA, was promoted to become their first Product Manager, and later was allowed to create my own role as User Advocate all based on my security knowledge and efforts here on the forums).

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nice to know. IT keeps evolving and one needs to keep abreast of developments in the field to put to best use the latest techniques & trends..

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@sman @exile360 , interesting reading - thanks for that. Are you aware M$ is releasing a new Edge Chromium based browser which will run on 7, 8.1 and 10? Not sure of the date but I have been running Beta and Def version on a test PC running W7 Home Premium. Looks good but will possibly contain the same tracking.

 

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@Pierre75Edge chromium is to release on 15th jan.  The software maker is targeting January 15th as therelease date for Edge Chromium, with availability for Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, and macOS. 

It also includes Microsoft’s new built-in tracking protection, which is enabled by default.

@exile360 One aspect is still not clear, when support is plausible, why Chrome & FF should pull the plug for Win 7 (though FF has still not come out with any announcement so far) and websites allowing access only to latest browser versions/

it's needless to say the necessity of browser patches , which after 2/4 yrs will be stopped by chrome/ff unless one upgrades windows. so where does this leave the user? yes. one can still access websites with a browser in XP/IE 11 for that matter, but unpatched. Is it recommended? Is it a good practice? certainly, patches are necessary to patch bugs/vulnerabilities in browser and to work with an unpatched browser is akin to asking for trouble. so, what the user has to do, to stay secure after chrome/FF pull the plug?

 

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3 hours ago, sman said:

it's needless to say the necessity of browser patches , which after 2/4 yrs will be stopped by chrome/ff unless one upgrades windows. so where does this leave the user? yes. one can still access websites with a browser in XP/IE 11 for that matter, but unpatched. Is it recommended? Is it a good practice? certainly, patches are necessary to patch bugs/vulnerabilities in browser and to work with an unpatched browser is akin to asking for trouble. so, what the user has to do, to stay secure after chrome/FF pull the plug?

It's much less of a concern when running good exploit protection such as that provided by Malwarebytes Premium.  Browser exploits in particular are the primary focus of that module and have guarded countless systems from unpatched and as of yet undiscovered vulnerabilities.

That doesn't even account for the modifications to settings that I use to further secure my browsers in addition to the add-ons/extensions that augment my browsers' protection as well as my massive HOSTS file and firewall that I use to block bad sites (in addition to the Web Protection in Malwarebytes itself) and of course Malwarebytes Browser Guard.

Edited by exile360
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@exile360The question of why chrome & FF need to pull the plug when the support continuation is very much plausible, still remains. Why shd they do it?

Edited by sman
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