According to Microsoft’s original plan, it will stop serving Windows 7 from January 14, 2020. However, given the market share of Windows 7 and its involvement in the US government system, Microsoft decided to continue to provide security updates for Windows 7 through 2020.
Microsoft’s blog post published earlier on September 21st local time shows this:
“As we head into the 2020 elections, we know there is a relatively small but still significant number of certified voting machines in operation running on Windows 7. We also know that transitioning to machines running newer operating systems in time for the 2020 election may not be possible for a number of reasons, including the lengthy voting machine certification process – a process we are working with government officials to update and make more agile.”
Not only that, but Microsoft also pointed out that according to its Defending Democracy Program, the company will provide free security updates to other countries. In addition, Microsoft plans to provide assistance for election systems that rely on Azure. “We are also announcing today that, as part of the Defending Democracy Program, we are proactively identifying and engaging election authorities that are Microsoft Azure customers to provide guidance and technical assistance in using the most advanced security features in Azure.”