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Management & Strategy

Free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for Some Microsoft Customers

Microsoft will be providing some of its customers with one year of free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) after January 2020, when extended support for the platform officially ends.

Microsoft will be providing some of its customers with one year of free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) after January 2020, when extended support for the platform officially ends.

In September last year, the company announced plans to provide enterprise customers with the option to purchase Windows 7 ESU through January 2023. Support for Office 365 ProPlus on devices with Windows 7 ESU will also be provided.

With Windows 7’s end of extended support day drawing near, Microsoft is considering ways to help organizations migrate from the outdated operating system without interruptions.

While all eligible customers will have the possibility to purchase Windows ESUs, some of Microsoft’s enterprise customers will continue to receive security updates for their Windows 7 devices for one year, for free.

“Starting June 1st, EA and EAS customers with active subscription licenses to Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, or Microsoft 365 E5 Security (as of December 31, 2019) will get Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for Year 1 as a benefit,” Microsoft’s Windows 7 end-of-support FAQ reads (PDF).

The promotion is available for Government E5 SKUs (G5) as well, but not for DU E5 SKUs (A5). Qualifying subscription licenses, Microsoft reveals, must remain active throughout the full ESU coverage period, otherwise the free ESU coverage expires with the subscription.

Prices for the paid Windows 7 ESUs are expected to range from $25 per device for the first year to up to $200 per device for the third year, Computerworld notes.

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Last year, Microsoft said that customers with Windows software assurance, Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education subscriptions will be eligible for discounts when purchasing Windows 7 ESUs.

Extended Security Updates will be provided for Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, and Windows 7 Ultimate devices within organizations that purchased ESU.

Eligible customers will have the option to purchase Windows 7 ESU for one, two or three years, depending on their needs. However, those who make the purchase later within the 3-year period will be charged for the previous year(s) as well, because the updates are cumulative.

“The ESU offering includes Security Updates and Bulletins rated “critical,” or in some cases “important,” for up to 3 years after a product has exited Extended Support. ESU does not include technical support,” Microsoft notes.

Microsoft is advising customers to update straight to the latest feature update for Windows 10.

Kaspersky reported this week that nearly half of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and enterprises are still using Windows 7.

Related: Microsoft to Charge for Windows 7 Security Updates

Related: Microsoft Brings Windows Defender ATP to Windows 7, 8.1

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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