For those paying attention, Microsoft has been crystal clear about its desire to move the aging Windows 7 user base over to the latest and greatest operating system from the company.
Promotion after promotion and prompt after prompt, Microsoft has tried to bludgeoned the war drum of expiration for Windows 7 and at the end of this week, users of the ten-year-old operating system will be left without support from the company.
Fortunately, for anyone who can’t or won’t move away from Microsoft’s previous flagship OS, Google is offering a tangential lifeboat in the way of extended Chrome support for the next 18 months.
According to its company blog post authored by Chrome’s engineer director Max Christoff,
We have enterprises covered, even if they haven’t yet made the full move to Windows 10. 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. So 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.
Understandably, Christoff makes mention of its Chromebook solution for enterprise in this blog post but ultimately steers back to the importance of businesses that rely heavily on Windows 7 by focusing on Chrome being a lynchpin to the upcoming Windows transition of support.
With Chrome holding over 60 percent of the browser market share worldwide, and a not so insignificant portion coming from Windows 7, it’s in Google’s best interest to support ‘holdouts’ for as long as possible.
In the interim, Microsoft is set to continue to pre-load Internet Explorer 11 in a semi-hidden state and use a separate sync engine to bring some interoperability between the two operating systems through a backward-compatible Chromium Edge browser for Windows 7 download.
Coincidently, Microsoft also plans to ship its new Chromium-based Edge browser to the Windows 10 public the same week it ends support for Windows 7.
The appearance of Chromium Edge could be Microsoft’s answer to Christoff’s extended 18-month support pitch for Chrome, as Microsoft seems poised to continue the development of all versions of the CE browser for some time to come.
With CE making its way to Windows 7, Microsoft now has a workaround to its own support deadline of Windows 7, for users and businesses that make primary use of browser-based applications and solutions.