Microsoft stopped supporting Edge on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 in January 2023, which means Edge 109 was the final browser update available for those operating systems. Still, as revealed by Microsoft at the beginning of this year, the company is willing to release intermittent security updates and critical patches. One such patch has just landed, bringing Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and Server 2012 R2 users an important update.
If you are still using pre-Windows 10 versions, do not get too excited about the latest Microsoft Edge update for your old operating system. It is based on Edge 109, the last version to support old Windows releases, and it adds nothing but fixes for security vulnerabilities, namely for heap buffer overflow in WebP in Chromium versions prior to 116.0.5845.187 that allowed a remote attacker to perform an out-of-bounds memory write using a specially crafted HTML page.
Here is how Microsoft describes the update in its documentation:
Version 109.0.1518.140: September 15, 2023
This update was done for our M109 Windows down-level extended support. We’re shipping 109 to Win 7, 8, and 8.1 (including Server 2012 R2 which is based on Win 8.1).
Microsoft has a fix for CVE-2023-4863 to Microsoft Edge Stable Channel (Version 109.0.1518.140), which has been reported by the Chromium team as having an exploit in the wild. For more information, see the Security Update Guide. This backport was done to our M109 Windows down-level extended support.”
It is worth noting that Microsoft will soon stop releasing even those rare security updates. M109 down-level extended support for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and Server 2012 R2 will end on October 20, 2023. After that, Firefox will become the only mainstream browser actively supporting now-dead Windows versions. Mozilla Foundation plans to keep releasing security updates for Firefox for one more year, with the end of Firefox 115 Extended Support Release (ESR) scheduled for September 2024. As a reminder, according to Statcounter, old Windows versions still account for about 4.45% of all PC users.