Mainstream antivirus will continue to support Windows 7 for another two years. Will users be able to sleep soundly?
With the end of Microsoft's official support for the Windows 7 operating system, dated January 14, 2020, tens of millions of computers worldwide are now at risk. In fact, according to Microsoft itself, as many as 25 percent of today's active Windows PCs still use this old operating system. Microsoft Security Essentials, the antivirus suite built into Windows 7, will also be discontinued: Microsoft will simply publish new virus definitions but will not make any changes or improvements to the code of these apps. How will other antivirus vendors behave instead? The question is not trivial, because 25% of the world's PCs are a big slice of the market but, at the same time, a big challenge: if your computer is attacked by a virus or by a hacker exploiting a flaw that Microsoft hasn't "repaired", in fact, the risk is that users will blame the antivirus and not Microsoft. Apparently, however, most of the antivirus manufacturers are going to accept this challenge and support Windows 7 for at least another 2 years.
Antivirus for Windwos 7: who has extended support
The list of manufacturers that will continue to support Windows 7, despite the end of Microsoft's official support, is long. They will offer at least two more years of support the following antivirus manufacturers: AhnLab, AVG & Avast, Avira, Bitdefender, BullGuard, Carbon Black, ESET, FireEye, F-Secure (for sure until December 2021, then it is not known), G Data, Ikarus, Kaspersky, K7 Computing, McAfee (for sure until December 2021), Microworld, PC Matic, Quickheal, Seqrite, Symantec and Norton, ThreatTrack and Vipre, Trend Micro.
Sophos, on the other hand, currently only guarantees support until December 2020 (June 2021 for the cloud version of its antivirus) while TotalAV guarantees one year, so end of support on December 31, 2020.
Protected with Windows 7?
It is good to clarify, however, that the fact that antivirus will continue to run on Windows 7 for another 12 or 24 months does not guarantee that our computers are 100% protected if they still have this operating system installed. In fact, the very mechanism of attacks that exploit security holes in operating systems (so-called "zero-day" attacks) makes a system with an open hole inherently insecure.
In the last few years, in fact, serious bugs have been discovered (and fixed, which will no longer happen on Windows 7) that allowed hackers and viruses to even bypass or disable the antivirus installed by the user. It's clear, therefore, that the best option is still to upgrade your PC to Windows 10.