If Windows 7 will finally reach end of support in January 2020, Microsoft has quietly announced a limited-time offer that will allow select enterprise customers to enjoy free extended security updates for an additional year. Despite Microsoft pushing Windows 7 to upgrade to Windows 10, the 10 years old OS still had a 31.83% market share in July 2019 according to NetMarketShare, and it looks like the desktop OS could continue to be used for years as Windows XP did before.
The promotion spotted by ComputerWorld (via ZDNet) is mentioned in an end of support FAQ for Windows 7 and Office 2010. and it will only apply for Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS) customers with active Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Security subscriptions, as well as Government E5 SKUs (G5). Existing subscriptions are automatically grandfathered, but all new subscriptions purchased before December 31, 2019 will be eligible for the promotion.
After Windows 7 reaches end of support January 14, 2020, Microsoft will still allow companies to pay for Extended Security Updates for three years. The ESUs will be available for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing, and there will also be a discount for customers with Windows software assurance.
However, Microsoft would much prefer enterprise users to upgrade to Windows 10, or use Microsoft’s new Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure, which is expected to launch in September. Windows Virtual Desktop will allow enterprise users to virtualize Windows 7 and 10, Office 365 ProPlus, and it will also include free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates.