Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 and Longer Windows 10 servicing

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 6, 2018
Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7

Microsoft made two important announcements today on the company's Microsoft 365 blog that change support periods for Windows 7 and Windows 10 operating systems under certain conditions.

There, Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Office and Windows Marketing, revealed that companies may extend the extended support period of the Windows 7 operating system by three years and that Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10 may switch to a 30 month lasting support interval.

Windows 7 Extended Security Updates

Extended support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020 which means that Microsoft won't release security updates for the operating system after that day.

Enterprise customers may select to extend the period for three additional years so that support is guaranteed until January 2023.

The option will become available to all "Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing" and customers with "Windows software assurance, Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education subscriptions" will get discounts on the extended support period that is sold on a per-device basis.

Spataro notes that Office 365 ProPlus will remain supported on devices with Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) agreements.

Home users who run devices with Windows 7 can't make use of the deal.

Changes to Windows 10 servicing for Enterprise and Education customers

windows 10 support

The second change applies to Enterprise and Education customers who run devices with Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.

The change extends the support period for Enterprise or Education versions of Windows 10 under certain circumstances to 30 months. The default support period was 18 months up until now for all editions but the Long Term Servicing Branch releases.

The most important changes in this regard:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise and Education releases are supported for 30 months if the target release is the second feature update of the year (September/October period).
  • All Enterprise and Education editions that are supported currently will be extended so that they are supported for 30 months starting from their original release date.
  • March targeted releases are still only supported for 18 months.
  • Non-Enterprise and Non-Education editions of windows 10 are still supported for just 18 months starting from the release date regardless of whether the March or September release is installed.

Microsoft made the change to give Enterprise and educational institutes "more time and flexibility in the Windows 10 update cycle".

Closing Words

The option to extend the support deadline for Windows 7 by 3 years provides organizations with three additional years of security updates. Considering that Windows 7 is still the most used version of Windows and judging from past updating experience when support for operating systems was discontinued, it seems likely that a good chunk won't make the deadline to migrate systems to supported operating systems.

Extended support comes at a price though and is only available to Enterprise and Education customers. Microsoft won't extend the support period for home users and smaller business customers.

The extended support period for September feature updates of Windows 10 is another welcome step as it gives administrators more breathing room when it comes to the rather fast paced nature of Windows 10.

Still, that is also only available to Enterprise And Education customers and not home users or small businesses.

Now You: What is your take on the announced changed?

Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 and Longer Windows 10 servicing
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Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 and Longer Windows 10 servicing
Microsoft made two important announcements today on the company's Microsoft 365 blog that change support periods for Windows 7 and Windows 10 operating systems under certain conditions.
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  1. SuperGirl said on September 9, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    >>>If Windows 10 crosses a red line for you and you think Linux doesn’t, there are places out there online where you can order a computer that’s literally made to run Linux.
    Please You dont need that,esp to just try Linux,it will install on most comps very easily if M$ Windows isnt thwarting you.{Win8 &8.1}
    Just gte a cheap used laptop from craigslist. I recommend a Standard business type model, off lease. I have an HP Probook 6470b with an i5-3230m CPU MX-16 on it

    Wow…. Just WoW !! Dual core are a lil pokey for a good linux. Lubuntu is nice & lightweight.
    I started with:
    A very easy to use distro with Videos{if I Recall} & really helpful forums.

    >>>>I don’t like the increased telemetry, but I can turn all the options to as much privacy as I can get and I can live with it.

    1. scorpiogreen said on September 11, 2018 at 4:57 am

      >”Please You dont need that,esp to just try Linux,it will install on most comps very easily if M$ Windows isnt thwarting you.{Win8 &8.1}”

      If you want piece of mind then ordering a native Linux laptop is the best way. That way there are no compatibility issues with drivers or anything else that may come up. Spending a few more dollars can save somebody some time if they so choose to do it that way.

      Sometimes there are things that are more important than price.

  2. A different Martin said on September 8, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    My dad’s university research department runs Windows 7 Enterprise on its desktops and has some critical specialized apps that won’t run on Windows 10. The department will probably be pretty happy about the extended support option, although possibly not about the cost, depending on what that turns out to be.

    (My dad’s primary laptop, whose maintenance regrettably falls to me, runs Windows 10 Enterprise 1709, kept up to date with security-only patches via WSUS Offline Update. With Classic Shell and Windows Privacy Dashboard, I find it tolerable. He does the great bulk of his work on his office Windows 7 computer, via Remote Desktop.)

    As for me, I’m still intent on switching from Windows 7 Pro to Linux Mint Cinnamon. I’ve been running it in a virtual machine for a couple of years with no major issues, save that running an OS in a virtual machine on a mid-powered laptop isn’t the most exhilarating experience in the world. Last night, however, I did my first “native” boot of Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon, “live” from a thumb drive with YUMI, and boy was it snappy! (Well … it was snappy compared to the virtual machine. Plus, Internet speed tests yielded download speeds that were *significantly* faster than in Windows 7, which was a nice albeit puzzling surprise. It was even snappy compared to my bare-metal Windows 7 install! And this was on a USB *2.0* port, mind you. Maybe everything I used during this brief trial happened to have been already loaded into RAM or something. Or maybe the kernel in the ISO didn’t have the latest system-slowing Spectre and Foreshadow patches. I don’t want to get my hopes up too high…)

    Anyway, I’m thinking of doing a bare-metal LM19 install by the end of next weekend, after I’ve applied Windows security-only updates from this month’s Patch Tuesday. I have a second set of drives for Linux; I’m not going to mess with a dual boot. But I *will* try to convert my Windows 7 install into a virtual machine, to run in VirtualBox on my Linux Mint host. That way I might not have to borrow someone else’s computer to update my Garmin GPS, and maybe there’s another Windows app or two I haven’t thought of that I can’t really replace. The only thing I *definitely* anticipate missing is Macrium Reflect, because having an up-to-date bootable system-drive clone on hand is a key part of my rapid-recovery strategy (in case of catastrophic system corruption or drive failure), and I don’t think there is any way to reliably clone a Linux system drive while it’s running. I guess I’ll just have to find out how much forced downtime it will cost me to clone using Clonezilla instead.

    1. scorpiogreen said on September 11, 2018 at 4:51 am

      >”(My dad’s primary laptop, whose maintenance regrettably falls to me, runs Windows 10 Enterprise 1709, kept up to date with security-only patches via WSUS Offline Update.”

      How is that done? I would think Windows native updater would override anything pushed through WSUS, which I also use. But that’s’ with Windows 7 with native windows updater turned off. You can’t turn it off in Windows 10.

      1. A different Martin said on September 11, 2018 at 6:29 pm

        @scorpiogreen: I don’t know that much about Windows Update on the various editions and servicing channels of Windows 10, because I got tired of trying to follow Microsoft’s constantly changing pronouncements, policies, and service models.

        System administrators at my dad’s work do the initial installation and configuration on all office and home-office desktops and laptops — Windows 7 Enterprise where 7 supported, and Windows 10 Enterprise (Semi-Annual Channel, apparently) where 10 is necessary (e.g., as on newer hybrid laptops with newer Intel chipsets). After that, they control the office computers with an iron hand, taking care of all updates and maintenance and deciding what new apps and configuration changes to allow. Home-office-computer users, however, are seemingly on their own for pretty much everything other than major troubleshooting and disaster recovery once the initial install and set-up is done. That includes OS patching.

        Anyway, I recall my dad initially complaining (more than once) about how unscheduled Windows 10 updates on his new laptop prevented him from working. He was also annoyed at how some things would stop working after an update (like being able to boot or restart while docked, until a Lenovo firmware update caught up with a Microsoft OS update, apparently). Maybe half a year ago, I asked his department’s computer administrators to disable automatic updates, or at least to delay installation for as long as possible, and told them that I would take care of security-only updates with WSUS Offline Update. (I refer major/important configuration decisions on my dad’s home-office computers to them, especially on the Windows 10 computer.)

        I don’t know exactly what they did, but I haven’t seen any evidence of automatic updating since then. I find missing security updates with Belarc, I install them with WSUS Offline Update, Belarc gives the computer a clean bill of health, and I close telemetry and diagnostics holes with Windows Privacy Dashboard. The computer is supposedly “secure” and it’s more stable than it was before. Since it’s (apparently?) on the Semi-Annual Channel, I gather (guess?) my dad will (maybe?) be in for a big bolus of non-security updates or a major edition upgrade at some point. I just hope they don’t break too much stuff.

        It really is regrettable that I’m stuck with routine maintenance on that computer. (My dad is *not* a “computer guy.”) I’m going to be switching to Linux Mint, personally, so I’m not very motivated to keep up with the shifting sands of Windows 10, let alone master them. I learn and do just enough to keep the computer secure and stable. So far, so good? Knock on wood?

    2. A different Martin said on September 9, 2018 at 2:49 am

      Just a quick heads-up about booting from Linux Mint 19 on a YUMI thumb drive: It *seems* to have reset my computer’s internal clock by 6 or 7 or 8 hours (or reset its time zone to GMT or Ireland or something), so you should remember to double-check your computer’s time settings when you boot to Windows afterwards.

  3. Philip said on September 7, 2018 at 7:22 am

    I’m happy for the people who can make use of this. Personally I couldn’t care less and continue switching everything over to a different system since fruits are considered to be very healthy. My family and I have finally decided to depart from MicroJunk. It’s not easy, it’s work and a little inconvenient. But I’m sure in the long run it will pay off.

  4. scorpiogreen said on September 7, 2018 at 5:25 am

    >”Still, that is also only available to Enterprise And Education customers and not home users or small businesses.”

    Hey Microsoft, that’s pretty useless to most of us here.

  5. John said on September 7, 2018 at 4:41 am

    Remember when everyone was promising that they were going to stick with Windows XP until it no longer worked with the modern Internet and modern or software, or beyond, even though Microsoft was pulling security updates for the general public? Remember when they all said that if they were absolutely forced to switch from Windows XP, they would switch to a Linux distro instead of Windows Vista, 7, or 8?

    Almost of those people seem to be on Windows 7 or 8 now. If past is any guide, of them will be on Windows 10 eventually, even though they claim that they will stick with what they have until the end of time.

    The only thing that will keep them from promising to stick with Windows 10 forever in a few years is that Microsoft actually seems to be planning for Windows 10 to last forever, with changes worked in gradually so the whole operating system sort of turns over gradually over time.

    I’m sure a few people out there are still using XP, and a few people out there who chose a Windows XP to modern Linux upgrade path instead of a Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrade path or whatever. However, the vast vast majority of people did not.

    I’m totally fine with people not wanting to adopting any given version of any given operating system. Hopefully we’re all living in free countries, and are able to swing getting whatever the minimum hardware is that we need to run our favorite operating systems on some sort of computer or device. I just feel like I’m watching a rerun right now- and not just because of the actual sitcom rerun that’s on TV in the background while I’m posting. Every generation gets attached to “their” Windows, threatens not to change and is slow to adopt newer ones, but eventually comes to terms with the way things are. A few individuals don’t, but they aren’t very significant statistically. That’s why I have trouble taking it seriously in the aggregate.

    If Windows 10 crosses a red line for you and you think Linux doesn’t, there are places out there online where you can order a computer that’s literally made to run Linux and comes with pre-installed, complete with driver support. They tend to cost a little more than Windows machines for what you get hardware wise, and, if you can’t afford the difference, I certainly can’t blame you for that! But I think most folks (Admittedly, not all) thinking about buying a new PC probably could pay a little more for a Linux PC from System76 or Dell or whomever, especially if they qualify for financing.

    I’m using Windows 10 and have been for years. I like it. Are there some things I don’t like? Oh, absolutely. However, in the end, I think it’s the best OS for me that’s on the market. The biggest thing I hated about it was the little dialogue that would pop up when I booted up which would allot me a maximum of 10 minutes to upgrade or it’d reboot and do it for me. I always seemed to have 20 minutes worth of something to do and exactly 20 minutes to do it in, and that wrecked havoc with things. However, they got rid of that, now I can tell the prompt to go away for a few days, and then just run the upgrade when I’m done whatever I am doing that day. I used to use automatic upgrades anyway.

    I don’t like the increased telemetry, but I can turn all the options to as much privacy as I can get and I can live with it.

    I don’t like the ads, but I can turn all of them off. I literally haven’t seen an ad in years that’s been part of my operating system. It’s a few settings toggles and stuff when you first upgrade or buy the machine. Switch their lock screen of the day to a wallpaper of your choosing. Sometimes you can even turn all the adds off for good before seeing one.

    There are red lines that would make me want to switch to Linux, finances permitting, but, so far, so good. Windows 10 is not a bad OS once one takes the time to really fine tune the preferences, install the right programs, set the right defaults, etc.. There are a lot of developers and there’s actually a lot of choice on the software level, and even a lot of options hidden within the operating system to customize it to my individual needs.

    Now, if there are ever ads I can’t turn off, if there is ever a mandatory monthly subscription fee, or if they block my access to the file system, to organize it the way I want to, and to backup and sync my files off-line, all of those would be red lines. At that point, if I could afford it, or if I could verify my existing hardware worked with Linux (Or some other operating system), I’d switch. But, for right now, I can live with Windows 10. All those potential red lines Windows might cross that would make me really want to switch are still hypotheticals- people speculate that they might happen, but they haven’t happened yet, and Microsoft has not actually said that they are going to happen, so they may not happen.

    So, for now, I’m dealing with what is. No version of Windows has ever been perfect, but I have not been experiencing most of the negative hype when I actually use the thing, I just read about it online. :)

    1. Murzik said on September 7, 2018 at 5:44 pm


      Not sure how much you got paid for your comment, considering you completely fail to state that it is nothing but a personal opinion. $1 has been paid into your account, but you probably had to pay the Paypal fees.

      1. John said on September 7, 2018 at 10:36 pm

        I realize someone defending Windows 10 is rare, but I’m not an astro-turfer. If you look carefully, you can see I actually have some criticisms of the OS as well as praise, and mention some things that would make me switch if Microsoft ever instituted them and switching was financially and technically achievable for me at that time (All things that are rumored or suspected in some quarters, but which have not been announced by Microsoft, so may or may not happen).

        I guess part of it is that I am used to having to spend time on any new computer or phone setting things up. Like many of readers of blogs like this, I have a lot of unique preferences to set and uninstall or disable a lot of the crapware, etc.. Actually, at this second, all of the main default programs in the Windows 10 default list are things other than Windows programs. :) Windows is just the best OS for me, subjectively speaking, to launch and manage those programs with right now.

        If I had to run Windows 10 without touching a preference or setting, and had to do everything with only Microsoft software, I’d bolt. But since I can change a lot of stuff (Turn off ads, etc.), once I put in the time, I like what I’m getting.

        A Chromebook is more of a thin client and not really comparable for me. I’ve had trouble with Linux in the past dual booting and such, and would only consider it as a fallback if Windows really went bad. Right now, Windows isn’t perfect, but it’s the best option out there for me. That could change, but so could anything.

    2. Clairvaux said on September 7, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Nobody makes promises about staying on 7, because nobody has to refer to anybody to make his own decisions. People just make their decisions known. I, for one, have purchased unnecessarily an extra copy of Windows XP OEM ages ago, when it was still current and I was afraid I would be forced to “upgrade” to the dreaded Vista, for a new build.

      I never had to submit to Vista, and directly went to 7. Notice how some people are still on XP, but nobody claims to be still on the later Vista…

      So I got to pay a Microsoft tax in order to protect myself from Microsoft’s “upgrade” to Vista, and I’m still stuck in a similar situation a few years later with 7.

      Also, when I see scores of IT professionals, with much higher technical skills than myself, and making a living out of solving technical problems, pull their hair about Microsoft’s Windows 10 policy, and its utter disregard for its users, I’m not inclined to “ugrade”. At all.

      I’m impressed by the way Woody Leonhard, who used to be a Windows 10 enthusiast and user, and still is to some extent, and makes a living out of writing Windows 10 books, nonetheless berates Microsoft for its current policies, and has wet dreams about Chromebooks.

      1. John said on September 7, 2018 at 10:29 pm

        Believe it or not, I liked Vista. I always had problems with XP. I didn’t like the Fisher-Price style taskbar and Windows icon, but that part was easily resolved by going to a Windows Classic theme.

        The bgiger issue with XP for me was that every PC I had or used with it always seemed to have viruses and malware all over the place that was very hard to clean and keep away. It was a nightmare. Vista may have been slower, but the security improvements meant it was almost virus and malware free, which was well worth the tradeoff for me. The only things I remember ever getting through Vista were Java based exploits from ads. Eventually, I just uninstalled Java, put an ad-blocker on my browser, and everything was cool.

        I realize I am in the minority, but I actually have good memories of Vista. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it ditched the file menu. That ticked me off. Fortunately, I actually have more access to the file menu with Windows 10 than I did with Vista. My software choices are almost always things that have an option I can turn on to allow a file menu, and Microsoft reinstated something close to a file menu in the OS at some point (It’s like a file icon in a ribbon, but it’s something they didn’t have for a while after eliminating the traditional menu for OS stuff).

    3. Caper said on September 7, 2018 at 9:03 am

      John, you are describing your personal view and it’s fine that you arrange quite good with W10. But thinking of business environment and/or people who set different minimum standards for themselves, W10 is unacceptable. Their red lines have already been crossed. Most of the things you mentioned M$ had changed in W10 over the time just changed because of pressure from outside and the unexpected huge number of deniers to “upgrade” to W10. And they didn’t expect any of that.

      In my world speaking to hard- and software developers and manufacturers for e.g. medical devices they are all frustrated by W10. So are their customers who already upgraded. And that makes it extremely different compared to a private person who might make an arrangement with the way things are set and ruled by M$! I tend to say M$ failed in believing they knew what the users really wanted. They didn’t care!

      Seeing it from a perspective where it comes to high security standards, the growing unsolicited elicitation aka telemetry, this growing black box and the lack of control over your OS makes using it very uncertain. In many scopes it is mandatory to rely on reliability. W10 is fighting that with every update.

      Though there might be speculation over potential red lines it is a huge problem that there is that much speculation at all. Speculation are the result of a deep loss of trusting in something or someone.

      1. John said on September 7, 2018 at 10:24 pm

        I have no issue with people not wanting to upgrade their personal copies of Windows because they don’t like more recent approaches or changes that have been made. It is true that some things have changed, and some of them not for the better.

        I guess what I’m saying it’s that it’s sort of deja vu for me. It’s hard to take it seriously on a mass market level because there were so many people saying this about Windows XP, that they were going to stick with it forever unless something major happened that forced a change, in which case they’d go to Linux. Yet, statistically, the vast vast majority of them did upgrade to other versions of Windows. Now, people are saying they are sticking with Windows 7 or changing to Linux, and I’m skeptical. I’m sure some people will do that, but I’ve seen this whole thing before, and most will not, just judging my statistics. Actually, I have to admit, I kind of wonder if how many of the Windows 7-forever crowd were literally part of the XP-forever crowd, too, and how many are drawing a line in the sand for the first time. :)

        Actually, some of the same issues that are raised about 10 used to be raised about 7. I can remember it going back all the way to Windows 95 or Windows 98. Ever version of Windows has always done more phoning home and offered less privacy than the one before it. In fact, I think it was an update to Windows 7, one of the service packs, that first started to assume if you haven’t been able to phone home in a certain length of time due to a lack of Internet connection or something, that your OS was pirated, and started imposing restrictions (Which I think is a bullshit policy, but one I’ve never run into, because it gives you something like 6 months, and even when I don’t have Internet for whatever reason, I’d at least have taken my PC to a library or a coffee show to use the free wifi in that time).

        I’m not trying to change anyone’s opinion. I just can’t take this movement seriously after what happened with the Windows XP movement. There’s a few who’ll follow through, but, mostly, eventually people give it up and life moves on. That’s been the history of the thing.

      2. scorpiogreen said on September 11, 2018 at 4:44 am

        I think your problem is people saying the word “forever”. I plan to stay on Windows 7 for a long time after it stops being patched, unless the hardware goes bad which will cut short “forever” real quick.

        Whether it’s “forever” or even just a few years, that’s one less machine that’s not using spyware – adware Windows 10, and that’s good enough for me.

  6. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    “Home users who run devices with Windows 7 can’t make use of the deal.”

    How typical. This, I suppose, is because Microsoft cares very much about security. Right ?

    If anything, this is an incentive for me to stay on Windows 7 and stay on “Never update”.

  7. Anonymous said on September 6, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Be careful with Microsoft forcing you to update your OS to Windows 10, especially if you live in a country wanting to protect children better like Germany etc, for instance on Flickr after updating to Windows 10 you will suddendly blocked from the restricted content, etc.

  8. Anonymous said on September 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    If Microsoft thinkers expect that I will resurrect Windows 7 update they are wrong.

  9. Yuliya said on September 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    To anyone wondering, Pro RTM and Pro VL are the exact same operating system. Once activated a copy of 7 Pro, the license decides whether it goes the RTM or the VL channel. If MS won’t push those updates, you can be sure using something like Simplix Update Pack or WSUS Offline will do the job just fine.

    Also, Windows 7 Embedded Standard and Compact are supported until 2025 and 2026. Idk about Compact, but Standard is practically a modular Ultimate.

    All in all, good news!

    1. scorpiogreen said on September 7, 2018 at 5:24 am

      >”Also, Windows 7 Embedded Standard and Compact are supported until 2025 and 2026.”

      You can’t install Embedded Standard updates on Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate. If you try to do it manually, it will say you can’t and are using the wrong version of Windows.

      Unless you have some kind of a workaround… Yes? No?

      1. Yuliya said on September 7, 2018 at 8:40 am

        We’ll see in 2023, for now there’s no need to worry.

      2. scorpiogreen said on September 11, 2018 at 4:37 am

        I don’t think 2023 is going to make any difference. Those updates will not take, period.

  10. AnorKnee Merce said on September 6, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    “With that in mind, today we are announcing that we will offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023. The Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis and the price will increase each year. Windows 7 ESUs will be available to all Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing, with a discount to customers with Windows software assurance, Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education subscriptions. In addition, Office 365 ProPlus will be supported on devices with active Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023. This means that customers who purchase the Windows 7 ESU will be able to continue to run Office 365 ProPlus.”

    = M$ milking more money from her ca$h cows, ie companies/businesses.

    For most companies/businesses/gamers, there is no viable alternative to Windows. How come.? NWO.?

    If Google Inc could make the free mobile Android OS into a success and defeated Windows 10 Mobile, she can easily make the free desktop Linux OS into a success and defeat Win 10. How come she did not.?

    M$’s ca$h cow Win 10 Ent users getting “VIP” treatment(= 30 months of support) while being milked dry by M$.
    ……. Free Win 10 Edu users are M$’s indoctrinated “Hitler Youth” or “Windows Youth”.

  11. Rambozo the Clown said on September 6, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    That’s good news for the Windows 7 crowd

    Regardless if we found a way to get those extended security updates (ESU) or not, this means 3 extra years support from all the major software vendors and browsers and that’s for me is far more important that the security updates.

    1. Chronius said on September 7, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Yeah, Windows XP is technically still supported till April next year and yet almost nobody supports it nodaways.

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