Linden Lab announce end of support for Windows 7

via and © Linden Lab

On Tuesday, January 14th, 2020, Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7. This means that while the operating system will continue to function beyond that date, Microsoft will no longer provide:

  • Technical support for any issues.
  • Software updates.
  • Security updates or fixes.

As as result of this, and as initially announced at the 2019 TPVD meetings week #50 summary, Linden Lab plan to cease their own support for Windows 7 from that date. This has now bee confirmed in an official blog post, which reads in part:

Accordingly, Linden Lab is updating our system requirements to remove Windows 7 from the versions we support. This does not mean that Second Life will stop working on Windows 7 immediately; existing viewers, and possibly some new viewers, should run as well as they did before. However, we will not be testing any viewers on Windows 7, so it is likely that compatibility problems will develop and increase over time. In addition, we will not attempt to fix any problems which occur only on unsupported operating systems (if a bug is reported against an unsupported system, we usually try to reproduce it on one that is supported; if we can’t, we don’t investigate further or attempt to fix it).

Those will have not upgraded to Windows 10 but have a valid copy of Windows 7 may still be able to upgrade using the Microsoft Windows 10 update site (note that free updates to Windows 10 were supposed to have been discontinued be Microsoft at the end of December 2017, but some are reporting it is still working via the Create Windows 10 Installation Media option).

Again, note that that’s Lab’s decision does not mean users on Windows 7 will find themselves blocked from accessing Second Life on or after January 14th, 2020, but will continue to be able to use the platform as before. However, and as noted in the official blog post, such users:

  • Will not receive assistance from LL support should they encounter problems.
  • Will not have bugs they report investigated or fixed unless said bugs can be reproduced using Windows 8 or Windows 10.
  • May find that, over time, viewer updates may not function as expected on Windows 7, simply because updates and new features will no longer be tested against Windows 7.

Given the potential exposure to malicious activities, both Microsoft and Linden Lab point to the need for users to only utilise supported versions of Windows on their computers, and keep up-to-date will all official patches and releases.

8 thoughts on “Linden Lab announce end of support for Windows 7

  1. The real end for Windows 7 will come when the Lab switches to a build environment that produces binaries that won’t work on Windows 7. I doubt there are any immediate plans to do that, but eventually they will want to take advantage of OS and language features that are not available on Windows 7.

    Another effective end may come when they use graphics features that are not available on the Windows 7-compatible versions of graphics card drivers. The newest cards from AMD and NVidia are already incompatible with Windows 7, as are new AMD processors.

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  2. While I have total understanding for people not wanting to go the Win10 route, I can’t understand – for the life of me – why nobody switches to Linux. :/ Solves all your probs with Microsoft and corporate America, makes your viewer run better, sets you free and makes you a celestial being!
    Come on, come on over to the Light Side of kombjudin’! Join the rebellion. We have candy and awesome things. Get your feet wet right here:
    https://linuxmint.com/

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    1. Like it or not, in terms of desktop use, Linux is niche (yeah, yeah, it’s used on 90%+ of all web servers – but we’re not talking web servers here, we’re talking desktop systems in people’s homes). As I pointed out in my reply to your own blog post, Linux is used by around 1% of the SL user base and comes with problems of its own where SL support is concerned. Ergo, the easiest route for the 12% (ish) of Windows users still on Windows 7 is actually to take the Win 8 or Win 10 upgrade path – particularly as the latter still appears to be available FoC (and is pretty much an automatic process (with the exception of creating separate recovery / installation media) that uses the existing Win 7 product key).

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      1. Inara, if I would give a single phuk about not being a niche I wouldn’t be in SL, and even less using a Linux distro that is on #182 in the DistroWatch Top 200 charts. Can’t compute much more nichey than this:
        https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=namib

        Also I don’t belief the upgrade path from pestilence 7 to cholera 10 is easier or faster than just being consequential and making the jump from MS to FOSS and GNU/Linux. Shouldn’t take much longer than 10 minutes, and particularly Win7 users should feel at home pretty fast.

        Ok, can’t use voice but what serious SL resident does such nonsense anyway?

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        1. Speed of installation is irrelevant. I’m simply referring to the ease & comfort factor many will feel in upgrading from one version of an OS than in having to source, install and then understand any entirely new OS – and what might / might not (without some form of assistance / alternative) run on it.

          Re: voice: just because you don’t use it, doesn’t mean a lot of people cannot find value in it or be “serious” about their SL use. There are a lot of very valid areas of SL usage where Voice can have intrinsic value on both the personal and the group levels – some of which would be a lot less beneficial / efficient without it.

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        2. While installing Linux and the look&feel (of some) distributions might be similar to the known Windows 7 desktop, it usually doesn’t take long until the problems arise of making something particular work and the hacking and poking and stabbing at the Linux internals begins: Missing packets here, wrong library there, trying to make something else work for your distribution… The simple fact that there is not THE Linux, but instead Linux being a set partially disjunct compatible distributions that all come with different features and in a ton of different versions, basically only makes it only a good choice for people loving to hack and poke at their system when it comes to making beyond standard software work. And which is the reason Linux was, is and will ever be a niche operating system for home users. This is a whole different story than Windows/OSX where there is THE Windows or THE OSX in one particular version you define as supported, you install your application and it just runs!

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          1. Ansel, when did you try Linux the last time? 2003 or what? Modern distros, Mint or Manjaro for example, come with all the bells and whistles, and tremendous hardware recognition. In case of Manjaro it’s really install and forget since it’s a rolling distro and will update fortnightly or so.
            And of course is Linux not Windows, it’s just using the same operating paradigm: Have a keyboard, a mouse/trackpad? Ok, you’re all set!
            I’m not a hacker at all, don’t even know what packets and libraries are and never ever compiled anything. I’ve installed lots of Linuxes, disliked many, replaced them with the next candidate. Cream rises to the top, like everywhere in life. And for me Arch-based Linux distros turned out to be faster, smoother and much easier than Windows. And it comes with everything, either already installed or you’ll find it in the repository. No hunting for 3rd party software all over the interwebz, no quest for drivers, everything is in your distro’s infrastructure.
            The only mindboggling – for some lesser patient people – thing about Linux isn’t a steep learning curve but the fact that you kinda have to forget a lot of ballast and bullcrap you learned from Windows usage. :/

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            1. You’re still missing the point. Some Linux flavours may have all the bells and whistles – but the uninitiated user is still faced with a potentially bewildering choice, loaded with questions ranging from the likes of a basic “why so many?”, through “are they actually all the same, or what’s the difference between them all?”, to “so which is the best for me?” and “what application issues might I find with Linux, and how do I get around them?” – all of which require additional pouring through the web to obtain advice / understanding – with the advice itself appearing potentially contradictory, depending on what and how widely they read.

              *None* of that is present with Windows. Unless someone is running on particularly old hardware or some particularly obscure application, they can largely be assured that, post update, their PC will run “just as it did before”. And that’s the point here; this article isn’t about the pros and cons of Linux, it’s about the ending of support for Win 7, and the potentially easiest route of upgrade that offers a high degree of surety nothing unexpected will happen and with the minimal amount of effort. For as long as it is available, that route is simply going to ONE website and clicking ONE button. All else, at this point in time, is moot.

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