If Microsoft recently announced that Windows 10 was now running on 900M devices worldwide, there is still a significant number of consumers and business using the 10 years-old Windows 7. With the OS reaching end of support in January 2020, Microsoft is throwing a bone to small business customers today by announcing that paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) will be available to businesses of all sizes starting December 1.
“While many of you are well on your way to deploying Windows 10, we understand that everyone is at a different point in the upgrade process,” wrote Jared Spataro, CVP for Microsoft 365. Until now, Windows 7 ESU were only available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing, leaving small and midsize businesses out of the equation.
Starting in December, SMBs will be able to use the cloud solution provider (CSP) program to purchase ESUs for Windows 7, which will be sold on a per-device basis with prices increasing each year. Microsoft plans to offer Windows 7 ESUs for three years, but the company will continue to push business users to upgrade to Windows 10, or check out its just-released Windows Virtual Desktop virtualization solution, which the company will be promoting as the new secure way to virtualize Windows 7 desktops with three years of free Windows 7 ESUs.