Microsoft has put in place a patch that will warn Windows 7 users that security updates will soon end.
The fix was released Wednesday to warn users of the imminent deadline of January 14, 2020, when the software giant will no longer release fixes for vulnerabilities and vulnerabilities. The deadline comes about 10 years after the first use of Windows 7 in 2009, more than five years before the introduction of the latest operating system of Microsoft, Windows 10.
Microsoft's decision to stop publishing security updates is part of the company's ongoing effort to encourage users to use its latest software, based on an increased security base and enhancements to limit attacks.
Starting April 18, Windows 7 users will begin to receive warnings about impending shutdown.
According to Net Applications, Windows 7 still holds about 40% of the desktop market. At exactly 300 days before the deadline, time is running out for support for consumer safety.
Business customers have the option to pay for extended security updates until 2023.
For years, Microsoft has allowed Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge to encourage growth and upgrades. Once these incentives are removed, many have only the lack of security updates to consider, which will expose the company's data and systems to the risk of cyberattack.
It's almost unheard of for Microsoft to fix end-of-life software. In 2017, Microsoft released rare security patches for Windows XP – retired three years earlier – to prevent the spread of WannaCry, a ransomware strain grafted from hacking tools developed by the National Security Agency.
The ransomware outbreak has hit schools, businesses and hospitals offline.
The successor to Windows 7, Windows 8, will continue to receive updates until January 10, 2023.