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Microsoft to end Windows 7 support early if you don’t install its March update

Microsoft says it will end support for Windows 7 devices that don’t download and install its next update that brings SHA-2 encryption algorithms.

Updated: Feb 20, 2019 17:25:47

By Kul Bhushan

Microsoft really wants you to update your PCs (AFP)

Microsoft has already announced ending support for Windows 7 OS by 2020. The company is now making sure Windows 7 users don’t interrupt official updates, especially the one scheduled to release on March 12.

Microsoft is making a big transition with its next big update as it moves to SHA-2 code, a more secure encryption algorithm. Currently, Windows 7 PCs run on the older SHA-1 codes.

“Customers running legacy OS versions (Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2) will be required to have SHA-2 code signing support installed on their devices by July 2019. Any devices without SHA-2 support will not be offered Windows updates after July 2019,” said Microsoft.

Microsoft is going to release support for SHA-2 signing later this year. It also plans to update some dated versions of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

“Unfortunately, the security of the SHA-1 hash algorithm has become less secure over time due to weaknesses found in the algorithm, increased processor performance, and the advent of cloud computing. Stronger alternatives such as the Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-2) are now strongly preferred as they do not suffer from the same issues,” the company explained.

Microsoft has been making efforts to move users running on older Windows versions to its newer Windows 10. While the latest software saw fast adoption initially due to free upgrade schemes, it’s still marginally ahead of decade-old Windows 7 OS.

According to a recent Net MarketShare report, Windows 10 runs on about 39.22% of devices whereas Windows 7 is on 36.90% as of December 2018.


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