Microsoft says it doesn’t plan to provide security updates for the Microsoft Security Essentials component integrated into Windows 7 after the operating system reaches its end of life in a little over five weeks.
The life of Windows 7 is set to end on January 14th, 2020, and security updates for the operating system will cease to arrive. Microsoft Security Essentials is the antivirus component implemented by default on Windows 7, but that tool will be abandoned along with everything else.
The company is pushing hard to get people to upgrade to Windows 10, and Windows 7 users will soon be inundated, again, but pop-ups pressuring them to ditch the old OS and move to the new ecosystem.
“Your Windows 7 computer is not protected by MSE after January 14th, 2020. MSE is unique to Windows 7 and follows the same lifecycle dates for support,” says Microsoft in the FAQ.
There is a small caveat, but regular users won’t benefit:
“SCEP definition and engine updates will continue for Windows 7 regardless of ESU status, according to the respective lifecycle policy for the listed SCEP versions,” the company says. “All in-support versions of SCEP offer anti-spyware and antivirus updates on version 4.10.209. SCEP Current Branch will be the only EndPoint Protection product that will offer AV updates (until Jan 2023) after the 2012 version reaches its end of support in July, 2022.”
The Windows 7 market share is estimated at 25 to 30%, meaning a huge number of computers still run the soon-to-be-dead operating system. Suspending the updates for the Microsoft Security Essentials will expose millions of people, so it’s possible Microsoft will extend the support a little longer.