Windows 7 users are being warned that their support services could run out within months.
Windows 7 support expires next year. Users still running on this service face a deadline of January 14 2020, when it will be shut down for good.
However, in a recent report from PC World, it seems the Windows 7 support may finish earlier for some users. Basically, if you regularly snub updates you should break that habit for March’s patch. Otherwise, your support will essentially come to an end this July.
“Windows 7’s support deadline may expire in July, if you don’t apply this patch,” claimed the report.
“If you’re running Windows 7 and regularly update your PC, you should be fine. Windows 10 users aren’t affected.”
Why is Windows 7 support expiring?
So, updates are delivered by Microsoft using either the SHA-1 or SHA-2 encryption algorithm. This is done for security’s sake. However, in an upcoming update – set to be launched on March 12 – things will change.
The company will cut support for SHA-1 ‘entirely’ during this update. According to PC World, it is understood the update will mark Window’s shift to using SHA-2. This hash algorithm is thought to be more secure, and now a preferred option.
This means that Microsoft will begin delivering Windows 7 security updates in this form from July. So, if you haven’t installed the March 12 update, which enables SHA-2 support, before then – your updates will cease.
As PC World say, the solution is simple – make sure your updates are installed!
If you want to continue using Windows 7 (with support, through early 2020) you'll want to make sure you install this patch. Otherwise, support will essentially expire soon. https://t.co/5kXhVyBmA7 via @markhachman
— PCWorld (@pcworld) February 19, 2019
Who will this affect?
Millions of people are still using PCs that run on Windows 7. Yes, the end is nigh, but a lot of people still don’t want to give up their Windows 7 loyalty.
However, ultimately, they will have to soon. If users want to make sure they prevent this happening sooner rather than later, updates must be installed.
Don’t worry if you’re running Windows 10. It’s understood the next Windows 10 updates will be dual-signalled. This means they will suit both SHA-1 and SHA-2.
Although those updates will become just SHA-2 in June, no action will be required. The updates will swap hashing algorithms seamlessly, it is understood.
Meanwhile, businesses still using Windows 7 will have their own timeline to work to. The update delivered on March 12 must be installed by June 18, 2019.