Windows 7 Extended Support:

It's Time to Take Action!

Windows 7 Extended Support: Now Is the Time to Take Action!

Microsoft has ended support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, but millions of PCs still run the operating system. While Microsoft won’t be issuing public security updates and fixes for Windows 7, businesses that haven’t migrated to Windows 10 (or a Linux alternative) in time can pay for Extended Security Updates (ESU) until 2023. ESU will also support Office 365 based on Windows 7 during this period.

Lately, Microsoft introduced a new offering for this field. Companies that commit to Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Security, or Microsoft 365 F1 Security + Compliance User Subscription Licenses will receive rights to Windows 7 Year 1 ESU for no additional costs. After March 1, 2020, when the Product Terms have been updated, the Windows 7 Year 1 ESU will be automatically included and will not require any concessions or amendments.

Extended Security Updates are the only way to continue using Windows 7 securely within the enterprise beyond the end of support. It will not be free as usual, but only as a paid service. Extended updates for Windows 7 Enterprise, used in most enterprises, is approximately $25 per machine, and the cost doubles to $50 per device in 2021 and again to $100 in 2022. For Windows 7 Pro users in smaller firms, the pricing starts at $50 per machine and jumps to $100 in 2021 and $200 in 2022. These costs will vary depending on the volume of PCs in use at a business, and some larger firms can negotiate discounts for thousands of machines. This can be supported as part of a wider consultative engagement by our Microsoft Advisory Services team.

The decision by Microsoft to retire Windows 7 isn’t surprising. The decade-old operating system, which launched on July 22, 2009, may have been incredibly popular – and it still is with recent reports from Netmarketshare suggesting that Windows 7 is still being used on more than 40% of all PCs. However, in the shadow of Windows 10’s success, it only makes sense for Microsoft to dedicate its time and effort in improving the new OS.

Although Windows 7 has reached its end-of-support phase that doesn't mean your PC´s will suddenly stop working. We've put together the key facts you need to know about Windows 7 Extended Security Updates to keep you going for a maximum of three years after January 14, 2020.

Conditions for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates

  • Windows 7 was purchased as part of a volume license agreement.
  • The offer applies to the Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise versions.

Office 365 ProPlus & Windows 7 Extended Security Updates

Organizations that use Windows 7 within the ESU program obtain additional support for Office 365 and Office 365 ProPlus for the term of the agreement.

"In addition, Office 365 ProPlus will be supported on devices with active Windows 7 Extended Security Updates through January 2023."

Prices for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates

The first information indicates that Microsoft plans to roll out sales in several stages and on a per-device basis. Prices for the first year start at US$50 and go up to US$200 for the final year. Companies that use Windows 7 in the Enterprise version will seemingly only pay half.

Key Data:

  • Licensing per device
  • Cumulative security updates will be made available per contract year.
  • To be eligible for the following years (second year/third year), the contract must also have been concluded from the first year.
  • The Windows 7 ESU program is available across all program channels (VL/CSP).
  • Microsoft has updated guidance on how ESU is implemented.

As an alternative, Microsoft offers a solution based on Virtual Windows Desktop in Azure that already includes the ESU program up to 2023.

“For organizations where a virtualization solution might be appropriate, Windows Virtual Desktop is the only cloud-based service that delivers a multi-user Windows 10 experience, optimized for Office 365 ProPlus, and includes free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU)” stated by Microsoft.

Companies that are interested in this solution can sign up for the Public Preview.

Although Windows 7 can remain in use thanks to the Extended Security Updates, companies should not use this extension as an excuse for inertia. The time has come to consider a switch to Windows 10 and proactively start shaping the future of the organization’s IT infrastructure.

When evaluating your options for Windows 7, it´s beneficial to have a team that can help you get the most out of your existing and future Microsoft assets. With our Microsoft Advisory Services organizations will have access to experienced consultants from a company with over 30 years of Microsoft partnership. By leveraging our expertise, your organization will be able to determine the best path for Windows 7 EoS, and design the ideal roadmap to upgrade before the end of extended support for Windows 7.

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Tony Mackelworth, Head of Microsoft Advisory

Tony Mackelworth

Head of Microsoft Advisory

Cloud, Digital Transformation, Licensing, Software Procurement Services

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