Although Microsoft support for the aging OS ends this week, Google plans to continue updating its popular browser for Windows 7 until July 2021.
Google is promising to support Chrome on Windows 7 for at least the next 18 months.
"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, Chrome's engineering director, wrote last week in a post to a company blog.
Christoff touted the post-retirement support as a win for enterprises, which over the last several years have designated Chrome as their workers' primary browser. He highlighted the management tools Google offered as well as Chrome's sync skills. "If you haven't started your move to Windows 10 yet, or even if your organization is mid-way through migration, you can still benefit from the enterprise capabilities of Chrome," Christoff contended.
That emphasis was no surprise. This week will mark not only the end of support for Windows 7 (Tuesday, Jan. 14) but also the public debut of Microsoft's refurbished Edge (Wednesday, Jan. 15). Microsoft, which built the new Edge with Google's Chromium technologies - the same that drive Chrome - has pitched the browser as a better fit for enterprises, based on Microsoft's long history of management prowess.
It remained unclear on Monday how Microsoft will support its new Chromium-based Edge on Windows 7. Historically, Microsoft has stopped serving browser updates when the underlying operating system exited support. However, Edge on Windows 7 will, like Edge on Windows 10, be updated using mechanisms separate from the OS. Microsoft may continue to support its new Edge after this week on all Windows 7 PCs, not just those in organizations that have paid for Extended Support Updates (ESU).
Google's pledge to support Chrome on Windows 7 for "a minimum of 18 months" was reminiscent of its support for the browser on Windows XP. Months before that operating system's April 2014 retirement, Google told users it would support Chrome at least until the following April.
Google ended up supporting Chrome on XP for two years after the latter's expiration, or until April 2016.