Windows 7 is rapidly approaching its official End of Support Life. Microsoft has remained committed to January 14, 2020, the date after which Windows 7 installations would not receive even critical security updates. However, as recent developments have routinely indicated, Microsoft is gradually loosening up and allowing more Windows 7 machines to be part of the Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) program. Granted, the program isn’t cheap, but with the latest announcement, Microsoft has essentially opened the doors of the Windows 7 extended support program to nearly everyone who has a strong and valid reason to continue using the popular but aged operating system.
Microsoft has confirmed that Small and Medium Businesses or SMEs can choose to participate in the paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates program. The program essentially ensures several computers running Windows 7 even after January 14, 2020, will continue to receive critical and security updates. Earlier the program was restricted to large enterprises with Volume Licensing. However, with the new amendment to the provisions, nearly every company that insists on running their computers on the decade-old operating system, will still be able to continue relying on Windows 7 for their operations.
Microsoft Now Allows Small and Medium Businesses To Receive Critical And Security Updates For Windows 7 Until 2023:
Microsoft has confirmed that starting on December 1, 2019, businesses of any size can buy Windows 7 ESU through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis. As reported earlier, the price for availing assured critical and security updates for Windows 7 after January 2020 will be rather steep and will only increase each year, until January 2023. It appears Microsoft would truly end all support programs, including the extended support programs for Windows 7 after January 2023.
Microsoft To Offer Windows 7 Extended Security Updates to SMBs – Microsoft announced that Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) will also be made available for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to allow them to stay secure during the Windows 10 mig… https://t.co/d8ZYNkR9OV
— G & R Computers (@GRComputers) October 1, 2019
What this essentially means is that businesses of all sizes can now choose to pay and secure Windows 7 security updates. This offer appears to be limited to Small and Medium Businesses only. For large enterprise customers, all qualifying Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise installations that are part of the Volume Licensing program will receive the security updates. Interestingly, Microsoft is offering a discount to customers with Windows software assurance, Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education subscriptions. In other words, large enterprises and educational institutes who wish to continue using Windows 7 should slightly benefit from the Windows 7 ESU program.
Microsoft will also support Office 365 ProPlus on devices with active Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU). Simply put, if the Windows 7 installation qualifies for ESU, then, the installed Office 365 ProPlus version will receive updates as well. Microsoft has set up a dedicated page called ‘Microsoft Partner Center’, which offers information about Windows 7 ESU program. Additionally, there’s an FAQ Page as well as a Support Page offering detailed information.
Extending the extension!
We're extending the availability of paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) to businesses of all sizes. https://t.co/aX65huPLJ3
— Andrea Fisher (@andreatfisher) October 1, 2019
Microsoft Urging Windows Users To Migrate To Windows 10 And its Cloud-Based Productivity Platforms?
Several recent developments strongly indicate Microsoft is attempting to get most of the Windows OS users to shift to the Windows 10 operating system. Moreover, it appears the company wants the users to select an online Microsoft account while setting up the Windows 10 machines during the initial setup or first run.
January 2020 marks end of support for #Windows 7. Microsoft announced today that you can use Windows Virtual Desktop to virtualize Windows 7 desktops with free Extended Security Updates (ESU) until January 2023. https://t.co/zVPcgzqjVL #AZOps #ITPRO pic.twitter.com/Zc13ge49fS
— ITOps Talk (@ITOpsTalk) October 1, 2019
Several individuals or personal Windows 7 users were hopeful that Microsoft might just give in and offer extended support for their machines. The company recently offered the same for its aging Exchange Server 2010 platform and even confirmed that Windows 7 machines working with the ‘Defending Democracy’ program would receive security updates after January 14, 2020. However, despite the seemingly positive news, the company is yet to offer any indication about supporting personal or individual users who remain loyal to Windows 7.