We know that Windows 7 users now have under 12 months before Microsoft ends its extended support for the aging OS. After January 14, , the only people who will receive extended security updates ESUs will be business and education customers willing to pay for them. Following the end of its extended support period , ESUs will be available to all Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers with volume licensing through January
The news was part of a larger announcement Thursday by Jared Spataro , the executive who leads marketing for Office and Windows. Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide ] Left unsaid was the general status of Windows 7-to-Windows 10 migrations by commercial customers.
Take this online course and learn how to install and configure Windows 10 with the options you need. In July, Microsoft said that approximately million commercial PCs still ran Windows 7 worldwide although the number did not include systems in China, an omission Microsoft did not explain.
But Microsoft's number - a tally derived from PC telemetry - was just a fraction of the latest estimate calculated by Computerworld using data from analytics vendor Net Applications.
Computerworld's number for August: Windows 7 ESU, said Spataro, will be available only for PCs running Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise, and then only if those operating systems were obtained via a volume licensing deal. Discounts will be offered to customers who also have Software Assurance plans in place for Windows or have subscriptions to Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education, such as the pricy Microsoft subscription.
The additional support will be dealt in one-year increments for up to three years and support will be sold on a per-device basis, rather than the per-user approach Microsoft has pushed for Windows 10 licensing. Prices "will increase each year," Spataro confirmed.
However, Microsoft did not reveal Windows 7 ESU's costs or the exact nature of what would be provided. To confuse matters even more, Microsoft has had a different program, called "paid supplemental servicing," for Windows Evidence of that deal, a one-year-and-done paid support plan for Windows 10's feature upgrades, has been scrubbed from the Microsoft's page where it had been touted in February. The omission or demise of paid supplemental servicing was probably due to Microsoft lengthening support for each fall's feature upgrade from 18 to 30 months.
Based on Spataro's announcement and what Microsoft offers to customers through other plans - notably Windows Server's Extended Security Updates - Windows 7 ESU likely will distribute security patches for vulnerabilities rated as "Critical" or "Important," the top two tiers in the firm's four-step ranking system.
The price may be steep: Beyond patching bugs, Windows 7 ESU also allows covered PCs to continue to run Office ProPlus, the locally-installed applications - Outlook, Word, Excel and the like - that form the foundation of the software-as-a-service Office Microsoft had previously mandated that support for Windows 7 running Office ProPlus would expire when the former reached the end of support in January More information about Windows 7 ESU may be forthcoming later this month.
In his announcement, Spataro implied that Microsoft will go into detail about the multiple support policy changes during the Ignite conference , which is scheduled to run Sept. Enterprises were also urged to contact their Microsoft account team, or their Microsoft solutions partner for more information about Windows 7 ESU.