Dale Hirt, the project manager for PHP inside Microsoft, announced this week on the PHP mailing list that Microsoft is no longer going to offer official support of PHP on Windows starting at v8:
We know that the current cadence is 2 years from release for bug fixes, and 1 year after that for security fixes. This means that PHP 7.2 will be going out of support in November. PHP 7.3 will be going into security fix mode only in November. PHP 7.4 will continue to have another year of bug fix and then one year of security fixes. We are committed to maintaining development and building of PHP on Windows for 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 as long as they are officially supported. We are not, however, going to be supporting PHP for Windows in any capacity for version 8.0 and beyond.
For most of us, this will not mean much and just because it’s being dropped as an official thing doesn’t mean the community will not pick it and continue supplying it. PHP contributor SaraMG explains why this matters:
For some possibly missing context, Microsoft runs https://windows.php.net and produces all the official builds of PHP for Windows. If you run
mod\_php7.dllor whatever the websapi versions are actually called, then you either use Microsoft’s own builds of PHP or you’re compiling it yourself.
This message means Microsoft aren’t going to produce official builds for PHP 8 onwards.
This message does NOT mean that nobody will.
Most likely the project will dust off a machine somewhere in the cloud running Windows (likely using a free license generously provided by MS, btw) and setup some automated build processes to make these “in house”.
These machine(s) may even be setup/maintained by the same people who were doing the official builds at Microsoft (such as cmb who is also one of the 7.3 RMs).
We’re still in initial reaction phase here, but the bottom line is there will likely be very little change for Windows users.