Google has decided to extend Chrome support for Windows 7 for another six months beyond its original plan in order to give customers more time if their Windows 10 migration plans were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January, Google said Chrome support would continue until at least July 2021, but that was a few months before the pandemic struck.
Google has now confirmed that Chrome will support Windows 7 until at least January 15, 2022. After that date customers can't be guaranteed of receiving security updates for Chrome on Windows 7.
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The extended support timeframe reflects the different effects the pandemic has had on IT projects and the use of technology in business. For example, in April Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company had seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months as customers scrambled to support remote working and work-from-home policies. That's helped video collaboration platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, both of which have seen usage explode.
On the flip-side, Google's engineering director for Chrome, Max Christoff, points out that many IT projects have been stalled because of the pandemic, including major Windows 10 migration plans.
"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," said Christoff in a blogpost.
A study that Google commissioned in Q2 2020 found that 21% of companies were still in the process of migrating to Windows 10.
"With this extension of support, enterprises with their upgrades still in progress can rest assured that their users remaining on Windows 7 will continue to benefit from Chrome's security and productivity benefits," noted Christoff.
Microsoft ended free support of Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. However, businesses had the option to pay for Extended Security Updates for Windows 7.
Organizations in some sectors such as healthcare struggled to upgrade to Windows 10 by the that deadline.