Windows 7 'End Of Life' Lasts Just 13 Days

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has issued one extra fix for Windows 7 after it passed the deadline for security updates to the system. In an all-too-familiar move, the extra update fixed a problem caused by the final scheduled update.

January 14, 2020 officially marked the end of Windows 7's Extended Support period. During the Extended Support period, Microsoft no longer added new features or offered free support, but did issue security patches, fixed major bugs and offered chargeable support for consumers.

That's now over and the official position is that there will be no further updates of any kind for Windows 7. This makes using the operating system very dangerous to use moving forward, as hackers are sure to target any exploits discovered in the future.

That said - it wouldn't have been a surprise if, down the line, Microsoft issued a security patch for any major flaw in Windows 7. If and when that situation arises, Microsoft will face a tough choice between sticking to its schedule and dealing with a threat to the substantial number of people still using the system.

Black Screen Of Minor Irritation

However, few will have expected an update after just a couple of weeks and for a relatively minor problem: since the final scheduled updates, users who have chosen their own wallpaper image and set it to 'Stretch' mode to fill the screen have reported simply getting a black background behind the desktop icons. (Source:

Microsoft reportedly planned to only offer the fix to subscribers to the Extended Security Updates program, which is aimed at business users. They can pay between $25 and $50 per machine, which can add up, but may be cheaper than upgrading in the short term taking into account staff time and possible disruption. (Source:

Fix Avoids Bad Publicity

On reflection, Microsoft decided this would have been a bad look given that in effect it broke Windows 7 and would then be charging for a fix. Even though it's far from a make-or-break problem for the average user, it would certainly have been awkward timing.

No doubt Microsoft bosses will now be crossing their fingers and hoping the unscheduled update doesn't cause any problems itself - something that's plagued Windows 10 with its system of frequent, ongoing updates.

What's Your Opinion?

Was Microsoft right to fix this specific problem despite the deadline? Going forward, how serious should a performance or security bug be for Microsoft to issue a fix during Windows 7's "afterlife"? Should it take account of how many people still use Windows 7 or does this risk a vicious circle?

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buzzallnight's picture

M$ product there is.
Be sure to keep a Win 7 machine loaded and ready
for all the times Win 10 will be screwed up by M$!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chief's picture

Just updated mom's laptop to Win10 last week. Can still get the free update to 10. Went smootly except Win10 said there was no video driver available but after the install, I told the system to update the video driver and it found it on MS website. All done. No sweat. I do miss Win7 but, oh well.

buzzallnight's picture

Was it a Dell laptop?
I have 4 computers and a few laptops so it is not an either/or for me

but I guess I will try to load 10 on something.......
I really wish I did not reload my best XP machine!

With the computing power we have today you should be able to choose between the GUI for 95, 98, XP, 7 or any other windows operating system
but no
we got new ICONs
way to go M$

but M$ is right up there with the people that programmed the Boeing 737 max 8
but they only got 2 crashes!!!!!!!

Chief's picture

Yes, it's a Dell.