Using Windows 7 beyond 2023...

We all know that Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 7 two years ago but, the ESU Bypass had come to save the day which has given it another lease of life but now, only a year of that left and the OS shall be "dead" for good.

However, as absurd as this sounds, I'm beginning to think about using the OS after the end of the ESU Bypass because quite frankly, I'm very reluctant on upgrading or even have this laptop of ten years run on Linux instead (even when in recent years, I've lost interest in it and don't want to feel alienated by it either). This is probably like people wishing to cling on to XP after the end of the POSReady hack (and even before that ended, XP already felt obsolete).

Of course, support for this OS would definitely leave my system more vulnerable but would I be naive to say that Firefox (and even uBlock Origin) could still "protect" me? The same for the Windows Defender updates if they'll still be dished out, which I think would come to an end also.

Just want everyone's opinion of this, and tell me if it's ideal or not...

Comments

  • Given how much vendors abuse updates to change things around, an OS that never changes seems like a dream come true.

    How "vulnerable" it is totally depends on how you use the machine. I use lots of older OSes, but I don't go around installing crap from porn sites or malware filled free games, or browsing untrustworthy sites. (Also, sandboxing adobe products in VMs)

    The key is knowing exactly what is on the machine, and not changing things without careful testing first. It always important to keep backups, backups, backups. Also a good idea to occasionally scan backups offline using another machine. Make sure you have local copies of ALL software and updates you need. If anything goes to the internet for anything, eventually that resource will not be there any more. And lots of stupid programs like to do that these days.

    Also, don't forget a proper hardware internet firewall. I wouldn't even trust Windows one trillion with out one.

    The biggest issue you will have with running an "unsupported" OS these days are application vendors dropping support for that OS. If you need a new feature from an updated piece of software, you may not be able to get it. (Of course, on the flip side, so much software only runs on older OSes).

    That instantly becomes a headache with web browsers, as the drooling IDIOTS that make web sites these days insist on making sure sites break badly even if you are a single version behind.

    At any rate, it can be done, you just have to know what you are doing.
  • @SomeGuy
    That instantly becomes a headache with web browsers, as the drooling IDIOTS that make web sites these days insist on making sure sites break badly even if you are a single version behind.
    I still use Firefox 78 ESR and that's not happened to me... although I had one site where too much of its animated crap had bogged it down a bit.

    And yes, I actually wonder when Firefox will drop support for 7. They dropped XP three years after Microsoft pulled the plug on it. When that happens, there's always Pale Moon but that'll be dropped also 🤷‍♂️

    Also, my router has a built-in firewall so I should be fine on that aspect...
  • Well, on XP we are stuck with NewMoon 28 and Serpent 52, and increasingly lots of sites break in various ways.

    Heck, the other day I happened to visit a really badly designed site that checked the user agent and totally forbid access at all, as if it was 1998 "We only support Internet Explorer 4" all over again.

    Development support for a client OS like Windows 7 depends on if Microsoft's development tools still support that OS, and if any compatible server, POS, embedded, or other variants are still supported.
  • SomeGuy makes a lot of good points here, especially about knowing exactly what's on the machine and testing things out somewhere safe before trying them on your main machine. Plus, backups.

    As many here already know, I mained Windows 2000 until last March. That was 10 years out of support. Never had a virus in all that time. Now I use Windows 7 and linux.

    There is another browser that works on XP and Vista called 360 Chrome, but by default it's basically Chinese spyware. You have to get the russian repack which cleans that up, then edit the preferences file so it displays things in English. It's annoying but it's based on a modern Chromium, and extensions and even screen sharing/streaming on Discord works too.
  • Just when I thought everything would end for the OS in a few months, apparently the POSReady edition of it would get updates until October 2024. I would not be surprised that there's a bypass for that as well or a Windows XP-style registry hack. If so, more people than ever would not want to part with what's said to be the last-good OS from Microsoft...

    ...although I may jump ship to macOS as I had been browsing some renewed and used iMacs on Amazon lately.
  • Unfortunately, mainstream browsers are already planning on dropping Windows 7 (and 8.x) support. Google has confirmed that the end of the line for Chrome support for those Windows versions is on February 7th, 2023 with the release of Chrome 110 only being compatible with Windows 10+.

    https://support.google.com/chrome/thread/185534985/sunsetting-support-for-windows-7-8-1-in-early-2023?hl=en

    As for Firefox, they are considering supporting those Windows versions until sometime in the summer of that year. If anything, we can expect support to be dropped on the main branch sooner than the ESR branch (similar to what we saw happen with 2000, XP, and Vista support).

    As someone who has tried Windows 10 numerous times in the past and went back to 7 (and 8.1 on another computer) every single time due to unsolvable problems ruining it for me, the future of the last usable Windows version being at stake is already giving me bad vibes.

    As someone who does content creation (photo and video editing in particular), Linux is not an option, so my next computer will have to be a Mac. Say what you want about Apple, but I found macOS to be a lot less painful to use than modern Windows in my experience. Is it a perfect substitute? No. Will I stop using Windows entirely at that point? Also no, since my existing Windows computers will be kept for offline legacy software use at that point.

    Maybe I'll give 10 LTSC a try if it's part of my dad's MSDN subscription. Otherwise, I'm keeping my Windows computers as-is the way they currently are. Maybe install Linux on my laptop since I don't use it often (and all I ever use it for is internet browsing and streaming video onto my TV).
  • I ended up buying a Mac Studio as my main workstation since my desktop was getting old, and it's honestly pretty nice. MacOS is stable and is compatible with most of the graphics software I use, plus various *nix tools. And the M1 chip is fast.

    I still need Windows for certain things, like a few servers, but the Mac is very good for most things.
  • edited November 10
    @KCompRoom2000
    As for Firefox, they are considering supporting those Windows versions until sometime in the summer of that year. If anything, we can expect support to be dropped on the main branch sooner than the ESR branch (similar to what we saw happen with 2000, XP, and Vista support).

    Well as you may or may not know, I've not updated my Firefox since last year, because newer versions of it don't agree with me so therefore 78 ESR is staying with me. However, I have Pale Moon as a back-up...

    And as for macOS, I'm now thinking that it'd personally be a waste of time for me as my circumstances have changed (plus experience with it just wouldn't be the same, considering that I've had this laptop for a long 11 years now). Could one day just use computers in libraries and other public networks from now on... but that's just me.
  • Supposedly the Windows 7 Embedded POSReady version will be supported until October 2024 but it will probably be less easy to get updates that way than via ESU.

    Ironically, because Microsoft thought adding Server 2008 R1 support to Azure was a good idea, it is very easy to get Windows Vista updates until 2024. Although few applications are still updated because vendors artifically dropped support after Vista offically EOL'd. (Just ignore everything they did to keep XP/Server 2003 support in applications going :tongue: )

    Another (although expensive) option is Server 2022 as it still uses the Windows 10 UI and Microsoft can't (yet) get away with putting on their advertising crap on Server editions. Plus it will be supported through 2032 and Microsoft doesn't do the moronic update every six months year shit on Server either. (And supposedly they want to get rid of it on client versions too. Maybe they're realizing customers like stability.)
  • @robobox
    Supposedly the Windows 7 Embedded POSReady version will be supported until October 2024 but it will probably be less easy to get updates that way than via ESU.
    I believe you may be right here... I've actually done a Google search on that and didn't see anything about it 🤷‍♂️
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