Microsoft Windows 7 may reach End of Support or End of Life on January 14, 2020, but the core software protecting the operating system will continue to receive critical security updates and support. A Microsoft engineer has clearly indicated that Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to receive support and updates to the malware signatures, even after Windows 7 OS stops receiving any official or continued support.
Incidentally, Microsoft had recently confirmed that many Windows 7 PCs will continue to receive support even after January 14, 2020. Moreover, there have been a few incidents that have raised hopes of PC users who continue to remain loyal to Windows 7 despite Microsoft repeatedly stressing about the OS reaching its end of life early next year. One of the commonly understood aspects was that Microsoft won’t offer any support to Microsoft Security Essentials, the default antivirus and anti-malware software suite for Windows 7. However, an engineer working for the company indicated that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) will continue to receive signature updates after January 14, 2020.
— Winaero (@winaero) December 18, 2019
Microsoft Will Continue To Send Security Updates MS Security Essentials But Not Update The MSE Platform?
Along with Windows 7, it was commonly understood that the core antivirus software protecting the aging OS, which is Microsoft Security Essentials, would also be retired. The company had suggested the course of action about the platform and the same would have had been valid even to those who purchased Extended Security updates for Windows 7. The support document previously read:
“No, your Windows 7 PC will not be protected by Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) after January 14, 2020. This product is unique to Windows 7 and follows the same lifecycle dates for support.”
However, during an AMA conducted on the Microsoft Community Forums, ComputerWorld’s Woody Leonhard asked the team in a very straightforward manner, “Can you confirm that Microsoft will really, for sure, cut off Microsoft Security Essentials malware signature updates after January 14? Even if you’re paying for Extended Support?”
Microsoft is killing off Windows 7, but Microsoft Security Essentials lives on https://t.co/UW8Usc5pkx
— tecgistblog (@tecgistblog) December 19, 2019
The response from Mike Cure, an engineer for the company, was quite contradictory to previously believed course of action. Cure said,
“Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) will continue to receive signature updates after January 14, 2020. However, the MSE platform will no longer be updated.”
Needless to add, the response was rather surprising. One of the participants of the AMA alerted Cure to the contradicting statement on the ESU support document. But in an even more surprising revelation, Cure said,
“I’ll get [the ESU FAQ] corrected as soon as possible.”
Will Microsoft Windows 7 Users Receive Security Updates After January 14, 2020?
Microsoft has repeatedly indicated that Windows 7 will reach its End of Life and End of Support on January 14, 2020. The company has even sent out repeated warnings to the computers running Windows 7. However, despite ending software and feature updates a long time ago, Microsoft has time and again sent out updates to aging and obsolete operating systems to protect them from newly discovered security threats.
— Blackhawk CyberSec (@BlackhawkCyber) December 18, 2019
This year, the company even pushed back the End of Support date for another operating system, which was to reach its End of Life on the same date as Windows 7. Moreover, the company has included several Windows 7 PCs within the purview of Extended Support. However, the support will be paid and is quite expensive.
Despite the actions of Microsoft, it is highly recommended that PC users who are still clinging to Windows 7, should move up to Windows 10 at the earliest. The newer operating system from Microsoft is now quite matured and has gone through several major updates.