Earlier this year Microsoft’s decision to end support for the Windows 7 operating system caused panic among enterprise users. Now the end of support deadline is right around the corner. Microsoft does not plan to release security patches and feature updates after Jan. 14 2020.
Microsoft recommends enterprise and home users to make a switch as soon as possible. However, the company later announced a paid Extended Security Updates (ESUs) plan for enterprise customers. The offer is only available to some Microsoft 365 and Volume Licensing customers who are running Windows 7 Enterprise or Professional editions.
Now the Redmond giant has announced that Windows E5 and Microsoft 365 E5 customers are also eligible for one year of free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. If you want to take advantage of the free promotional offer, you should accept it until December 31, 2019.
Microsoft describes in its FAQ support document:
“Starting June 1, 2019, EA and EAS customers who have active subscription licenses for Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Security, or Windows VDA E5 (as of January 14, 2020) receive Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Year 1 as a benefit. This limited-time promotion gives customers more options to continue receiving Windows 7 security updates after the end of support.“
Terms Of Promotion
There are thousands of organizations that didn’t complete the Windows 10 upgrade process due to different issues. If you are one of those who want to take advantage of the free ESU offer, you should keep a few things in mind.
You should be a Windows 7 licensed customer using any of these plans: Windows E5, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Security, and Windows VDA E5. Furthermore, the free ESU support offer also applies to Government (G5) plans.
The Big M further clarified that those who are using Education plans are not eligible. Moreover, the ESU is not available through Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider partners.
Microsoft believes that a majority of the Windows 7 users who are going to avail the free ESU offer will complete the upgrade process within one year. However, if you think that you need some more time to deploy Windows 10, you can still purchase an additional two years of ESU plan.
This news appears to be a lifesaver for those enterprise users who are still struggling to upgrade to Windows 10. However, you should complete the Windows 10 upgrade within a year to avoid extra costs.
As a quick reminder, if you don’t want to use the free upgrade offer, here is a trick for you. You can still use your old Windows 7 license keys to upgrade your system to Windows 10.