January 14, 2020 is a special day for Microsoft and millions of computer users and organizations around the world. It is the day that Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system will receive the last batch of security updates as it reaches end of support on that day.
Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will reach end of support on that day as well after reaching end of mainstream support in 2015.
The end of support date affects millions of users who run Windows 7 and also 184 million devices run by commercial entities around the world (excluding China).
While some organizations may purchase extensions to get continued support for devices, most need to either migrate existing systems to another operating system or acquire new machines with a new operating system instead.
Microsoft wants company partners like Dell or HP to focus much of their effort in this regard on the Device as a Service model that is more lucrative than one-off sells with support agreements.
The company noted that 64% of devices with Windows 7 licenses are older than 5 years, and that the average Windows 7 commercial device age is 5.51 years.
Segmented into groups, 50% of devices are run by Enterprise customers, 30% by Small Businesses, and 20% by Government agencies.
Microsoft revealed the numbers during Microsoft's Inspire partner event last week.
Mary Jo Foley who reported on the event first notes that an operating system's end of support provided Microsoft partners with opportunities to "sell customers on migration, provisioning and other services".
Microsoft expects that about 30% of all Windows PCs that company's migrate to will feature Device as a Service (DaaS) plans. Device as a Service is not a new concept; basically, what it entails is that Microsoft partners such as Dell or HP lease PC hardware to organizations on a subscription basis and often include other service agreements, e.g. for support, next to that.
Microsoft 365, Office 365, and other subscription-based products from Microsoft may be included in these deals as well.
Modern commercial device, cloud managed and modern billing are the three pillars of Microsoft's DaaS strategy.
Microsoft partners could earn a "gross profit" of more than $100 "per seat per year by selling the Microsoft 365 stack via a DaaS approach".
Devices would run a Windows 10 edition, include cloud management options out of the box, and use virtualization based security.
January 2020 will be an interesting month; the end of support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2018 / 2018 R2 affects more than 180 million devices that businesses and organization run, and also an even greater number of home users.
Microsoft hopes that home users and businesses alike will run Windows 10 or Windows Server 2019 after that day either on existing machines or new hardware.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.