November 2nd, 2021

Windows 7 and the Future, Part 1

The bad news first: Going forward, future versions of Kithara RealTime Suite will be unable to support Windows 7. As is often the case, it is out of our hands, but in Microsoft’s who no longer issue Windows 7 certificates, meaning updates from our side have to be discontinued as well.

What happened?

Microsoft decided to significantly increase the barrier for signing Windows 7 kernel mode drivers. Up until summer 2021, it was still possible to have signatures of kernel mode drivers to be issued a so-called cross certificate. However, with newly issued certificates after 30-06-2021, this is not possible anymore. Unlike with Windows 10 and 11, where the signature of a kernel mode driver is validated by using a root certificate, Windows 7 and 8 still require such a cross certificate. Since Microsoft prohibits certificate authorities to issue these cross certificates, it is no longer possible for us to provide our drivers with such a signature that would be accepted by the Windows 7 kernel.

What you can still do

In case you still think you desperately need to install a Windows 7 update (e. g. a bug fix), Windows can be set to run in test mode. Due to the fact that this creates a water mark on the screen and thus makes the software unsuitable to be passed on to the end user, this method should be considered a last resort only for special use cases.

Looking forward

The good news is of course, that Version 11 of Kithara RealTime Suite also supports Windows 11. This means, for users that already want to switch to the latest version of the operating system, Kithara real time is readily available.