Microsoft is extending support for Windows 7 until January 2023, giving businesses more than three years to complete their switch to Windows 10. There is one caveat, however, as Microsoft has confirmed that businesses still requiring security updates and patches after January 2020 will have to pay for the privilege.
Windows 10 was officially launched in 2015 and Microsoft has signalled that it will be the last operating system that it will ship. While that doesn’t mean it won’t receive major updates, because it has and will continue to do so, it is the last time Microsoft plans on completely replacing its OS with a new version.
Despite the advantages of Windows 10 and the fact that businesses won’t have to pay for further upgrades in the future after the switch, many companies are still stuck on Windows 7. Microsoft understands that, and that’s why it’s offering an Extended Security Updates (ESU) scheme for any business who wants to stick with Windows 7 for the time being.
The ESU scheme will require businesses to pay for further security updates and patches to the Windows 7 operating system, and while it was previously announced for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in volume licensing, the company has now confirmed that all businesses can take advantage of the scheme.
Microsoft cites “today’s economy” as the reason behind opening up the ESU scheme, although it continues to encourage businesses to make the switch to Windows 10. After all, the ESU scheme will be charged on a per-device basis with costs rising each year, meaning the total cost of the switch could be lower than remaining on Windows 7.
Windows 7 is still a popular OS, with the latest stats estimating that as many as 30.9% of Windows PCs are still running it. Microsoft obviously wants that number to shrink as customers migrate to Windows 10, but also realises that some firms can’t afford the expense of migrating, and it doesn’t want to let them lose all security patches.
Customers who wish to take advantage of the ESU scheme will be able to do so after December 1, 2019.