With none of our active developers using Windows 7 as their primary OS, the userbase dwindling, and Windows 7 starting to meaningfully fall behind newer versions of Windows, it's going to become more and more likely that features are accidentally broken in Windows 7. Eventually, the differences between Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows may increase to the point where we drop support for the aged OS. We don't plan on purposefully breaking support, but, its days are numbered.
Windows 7 had a hell of a run. After the wide rejection of Windows Vista, Windows 7 set the bar for all Windows versions to come. It continued the technical advancements from Vista while righting most of its wrongs, all wrapped up in a friendly, reliable package. This combination was a tremendous success, and users loved Windows 7 so much that it had a support lifespan of over 10 years!
Dolphin has been proud to support Windows 7 for its entire life, and then some. We've supported Windows 7 for 13 years, making it our longest supported single operating system version ever. However, all good things must come to an end. While Windows 7 was able to survive the release of Windows 8 and 8.1, Windows 10 finally provided another popular option, and users have moved on. With Microsoft ending support for Windows 7 a few years ago and more and more software abandoning it, supporting Windows 7 has become a liability for us.
After several months of breaking/restoring Windows 7 support, we've decided to drop support for Windows 7... and Windows 8 and 8.1. We did not take this decision lightly, but after evaluating the situation, we knew what had to be done in order to make sure we can keep working on Dolphin without having to make compromises.