Update, January 11: It has come to our attention that despite reports, Windows 7 does not support Secure Boot. Microsoft confirmed the screenshot going around, which shows a VMWare machine with Secure Boot options on a Windows 7 host is not indicative of Windows 7 getting the feature. Secure Boot was added in Windows 8.
Pour one out for Windows 7, the 13-year-old operating system that is no longer receiving any security updates. It briefly appeared, however, that Microsoft has left one big goodbye present for security-conscious users.
Windows 7 technically reached the end of the line on January 14, 2020, but those in enterprise and education could get Extended Security Updates through today. It really seems like this is the time for most people to upgrade — but for those who don't, Neowin reports that Microsoft has added UEFI and Secure Boot to the antique OS. This was later disproved to be confusion due to virtual machine settings.
Secure Boot (opens in new tab) uses PC firmware to check that all software and firmware drivers used at boot are properly signed by the OEM and manufacturer. It's pretty late for a feature like this to show up in the OS, but it could be a decent last gasp for organizations that refuse to update to Windows 10 or 11.
Neowin saw the talk of Secure Boot on the Chinese-language CSDN forums. Some people have had some issues enabling UEFI and Secure Boot, and it seems they got stuck at the startup logo due to certain display drivers that need updating.
Windows 11 requires a PC be Secure Boot enabled if you're upgrading from Windows 10, and most OEM PCs come with it set up.
For those of you stubbornly holding onto Windows 7, it will continue to work — but you will no longer get any patches for new or existing vulnerabilities. Windows 8.1, which no one will really miss, also hits the end of support today (opens in new tab) (and, unlike Windows 7, will not be getting an Extended Security Update program).
It's unclear how many of Windows' 1.5 billion users are currently on Windows 7 or 8.1. But if you happen to be on one, it's probably time to update to Windows 10 or 11, for safety's sake.
This story was originally published on January 11, and updated on January 10 with additional information.