Windows 7 update leaks 4 years after Microsoft ended support

Blast from the past.

Windows 7 unreleased update.
Image credit: Windows 7 logo by FatehMuhammadRaja and desktop by Ben S the animator.

Unearthing new content years after the fact is common in the game industry, but not so much in general software. Stories about a game’s secrets found several years after most people stop playing usually prompt a smile. We’re not sure this is going to have the same effect. It turns out that Windows 7 had an update that never saw the light of day, and it’s just leaked.

We mourned the loss of Windows 7 back in January 2020, when Microsoft ceased official support for the operating system. Despite being over four years ago, it turns out that there was an entire update that the brand never released. With new screenshots of ‘build 6758’, we now know what we were missing. The patch introduces a substantial upgrade to Paint, removed Gadgets, changed a few names, and updated Windows Media Player to version 12.

The big deal here isn’t so much what the update would have done, although it’s fun to see. Instead, the main draw here is that it’s just a bit odd that Microsoft created the update but never released it. We don’t yet know why it pulled the plug, and we’ll probably never get an official announcement. For now, we can simply guess.

In our opinion, there are three potential options here. The first is one of timing. It could be that this update came too late in the lifespan of Windows 7. Given its dwindling user base, releasing it simply wouldn’t have been worth the hassle. The second is the potential quality. If bugs or errors proved troublesome to fix, it probably wouldn’t be worth the investment. The third is about focus since Windows 11 debuted in late 2021, and the Redmon company likely wanted to turn its attention to the new OS. We’re highly unlikely to ever know for sure, but it’s an entertaining little reveal.

If you want to learn more about what we missed out on, you can read a full breakdown on BetaWiki. It goes into all of the details properly, along with a video on YouTube from Ben S the animator.