If you really can't let go of Windows 7, Microsoft will keep things secure for another three years

For a fee, of course

Recognising that not everyone has climbed aboard the Windows 10 train, Microsoft has thrown a Window 7 Extended Support lifeline to more businesses... for a price.

Microsoft 365 veep Jared Spataro had already cut laggardly enterprises some slack in September last year, and the kindly software giant has now extended its largesse to businesses not using Windows 7 Pro and Enterprise in volume licensing.

The Extended Security Update (ESU) licences will be sold on a per-device basis from 1 December 2019, giving those businesses just over a month to sort things out before free extended support ends on 14 January 2020. Those who cannot bear the thought of being parted from their Windows 7 installations can keep the lights on until January 2023.

The cost will increase per year, because Microsoft really wants those users to make the move.

The support can be purchased through Microsoft's network of Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) although, according to one we spoke to, the price has yet to be published for the UK.

It would seem perverse if it were not close to the price paid by enterprises. So expect the first year to hover around the £42 mark in order to keep those fixes flowing (less if on software assurance).

Either sniffing an opportunity or admitting defeat, Microsoft has been quietly finding ways to extend support for users reluctant to migrate from perfectly functional systems.

Alas, there appears to be no reprieve for consumers happy with their elderly Windows 7 installations. We've asked Microsoft for clarification and will update if there is a response. In the meantime, it may finally be time to take a deep breath and buy that new PC with Windows 10.

Businesses delighted to put off Windows 10 day should also be aware that these are security updates. That money won't secure regular updates or fixes – just security. In addition, it is worth keeping in mind that that other stalwart, Office 2010, will also drop out of support on 13 October 2020 – unless Microsoft blinks. ®

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