Mark your calendars and circle the date in red: On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide free updates and support for their Windows 7 operating system. Windows 7 was first introduced ten years ago and, while it may have taken users a while to warm up to it, Microsoft announced that as of last fall, only half of all machines using a Windows operating system are now on Windows 101. This means the remaining half are still using Windows 7 and earlier, or other operating systems.
If your organization still has machines using Windows 7, it’s time to think about your options.
Believe it or not, “move to Windows 10” is not Microsoft’s first choice. Their first choice is to try to get users to go all the way and move to Microsoft 365, which is its bundle of Windows 10, Office 365 and EMS. However, if you’re not ready to do that, moving to Windows 10 is a logical option. But what if you have legacy programs that either only work with Windows 7 or won’t work with Windows 10? In that case, Microsoft announced it will offer two options for business customers (as opposed to individuals):
- Microsoft will sell paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) on a per-device basis, with the price increasing each year. These ESUs will be available to any Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise users with volume-licensing agreements. The cost on a 1-3 year extension is as follows:
- Microsoft also will provide ESUs for no additional cost to customers who buy the Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop service. This service has not yet been released but is expected to be made available for preview by the public sometime by the end of March 2019.
Along with ending free support for Windows 7, Microsoft also announced end-of-life support for the following:
- Windows Server 2008/R2
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
There are no plans for any extensions, paid or free, for these products.
It is the responsibility of all users and organizations to keep up and use supported products. It is especially important for those organizations such as law firms, financial institutions and other service-based firms with ethical requirements to NOT continue to use unsupported products. We’ve written posts in the past about what to consider when moving to a new operating system. Be sure to contact us at 877-357-0555 or write to us at email@example.com and check to be sure your software programs and applications can make the switch. The clock is ticking…