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.
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
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".
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.
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