Windows 7 is projected to reach the end-of-support in January next year, but given that the 2009 operating system still controls a market share of around 25 percent, there’s a good chance many devices would still be running it when the time comes.
Of course, despite the lack of security updates, there still are ways to secure a Windows 7 device, including running up-to-date security software.
One antivirus that wouldn’t be able to do that is Microsoft’s very own Security Essentials, a free security product for Windows 7 that would stop getting definition updates on January 14 as well.
Microsoft Security Essentials has evolved to become Windows Defender, a much more advanced security application that now includes many other features and comes pre-loaded on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Other antivirus apps on Windows 7
The software giant doesn’t provide too much information on the future of Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 7, but it does confirm in a recent support article that its free antivirus would no longer protect the computer after the end of support.
“No, your Windows 7 computer is not protected by MSE after January 14, 2020. MSE is unique to Windows 7 and follows the same lifecycle dates for support,” Microsoft states.
This doesn’t mean Windows 7 users would be left with antivirus protection on their devices. Several other security products, including free software like Avast Antivirus, will continue to support Windows 7 for a little longer, so users can turn to these applications to replace Microsoft Security Essentials.
Worth knowing, however, is that Windows 7 applications will pull support for the 2009 operating system gradually after the operating system end-of-life, so upgrading to newer Windows is pretty much the only option in the long term from a security perspective.
All Windows 10 versions come with Windows Defender pre-installed.