How Windows 7’s “Extended Security Updates” Will Work

Windows 7 sepia desktop background logo.

Windows 7 is not long for this world. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft ends "extended support" for Windows 7 and stops receiving security updates. But there is a way around the problem: pay for "extended security updates."

Normal security updates end on January 14, 2020

Originally released on October 22, 2009, Windows 7 is approaching its tenth anniversary. On January 14, 2020, Windows 7 will be leave "extended support". Microsoft will stop issuing common security updates and software developers will eventually stop supporting them with recent versions of their software. The new hardware may not work in Windows 7 if the hardware manufacturers do not perform the task to support it specifically.

Basically, it's Windows XP once again. Windows 7 may have greater autonomy, but software and hardware developers will gradually leave it behind. More security holes are found in this – many of the same flaws found in Windows 10 affect Windows 7 and Microsoft does not patch them. This old operating system will become less secure. Microsoft has been warning people about this for yearsand now the date is near.

RELATED, RELATED, RELATED: How to avoid end-of-support errors for Windows 7

Microsoft may post free security updates

Windows 7 supports the end date reminder message on the desktop.

If Windows XP taught us anything, it's that Microsoft can release security updates for Windows 7 to everyone.

Even in 2019, five years after the expiration of the support, Microsoft has reached the milestone release of a security update for Windows XP. The Windows Update for Windows XP pipeline had apparently been shut down for a long time, so Windows XP users need to download and install this update manually, but it was available.

Microsoft still has not fixed all security vulnerabilities for Windows XP. The company will not fix them all for Windows 7 either. Especially bad holes like the Windows XP flaw that could allow a worm to spread through the Internet by infecting older Windows XP machines can be patched. But do not rely on getting security updates for most Microsoft patch vulnerabilities in other versions of Windows.

Organizations can get extended security updates

The average user of a home computer must leave Windows 7 and upgrade to a modern supported version, such as Windows 10. If you have any software or software you need, you will need to upgrade to a modern version. a hardware requiring Windows 7, consider isolating this Windows 7 computer from the Internet or running this software in a compatible environment. virtual machine on a modern version of Windows.

For companies that need more time to upgrade, Microsoft sells "extended security updates." In other words, Microsoft will continue to create security updates, but you will only be able to obtain them if you pay.

These are designed as a palliative. These updates will become more expensive each year. Microsoft wants companies, governments, and other organizations to upgrade to a modern version of Windows. I hope this financial cost will encourage it.

Home users can not buy them

Windows Update in Control Panel in Windows 7.

However, the average Windows 7 user can not buy these updates. They are only available for companies and other organizations.

Some good news: Instead of being available only to large enterprises with volume licensing agreements, Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) will be available for businesses of all sizes, even small to medium sized.

Microsoft will not sell these updates directly to you, and they are not available through the usual retail channels. according to Mary Jo FoleyMicrosoft officials said these ESUs must be purchased "from qualified partners of cloud solution providers." Microsoft Blog about Windows 7 Support invites interested parties to "Please contact your partner or the team responsible for your Microsoft account for more details."

How much will the Extended Security Updates cost?

It is not because you can buy them that you should buy them. Microsoft does not publish the price list publicly. Microsoft Observer Mary Jo Foley has some details, although she believes that these prices can be tradable.

For organizations with Windows 7 Enterprise, updates will cost $ 25 per device in the first year, $ 50 per device in the second year, and $ 100 per device the third. This is an "add-on" to a Windows Volume License Agreement.

Businesses with Windows 7 Pro devices will need to spend $ 50 per device in the first year, $ 100 per device in the second year, and $ 200 per device in the third. This does not require a volume license agreement.

Microsoft documentation states that no minimum purchase is required. Technically, you can simply pay for updates for a single device.

Windows 7 still being installed on more than 35% of computers by some estimates, many companies will probably pay for these extended security updates.

Fortunately, if you are a home user, you can always upgrade to Windows 10 for freeAlthough Microsoft does not publish this tip.

RELATED, RELATED, RELATED: You can still get Windows 10 for free with a Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 key

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