Windows 7 support ends in January 2020 and there is nothing that consumers and small business customers-- read non-Enterprise customers -- can do about it. Microsoft won't release security updates, any update to be precise, for consumer versions of Windows 7 after January 2020.
Microsoft announced last year that it would offer paid extended support options to volume licensing customers.
The company did not reveal any pricing back then but mentioned that support would be extended for a maximum of three years after support end and that extending support would become more expensive per year.
Mary Jo Foley got her hands on the extended support costs and other information related to extending the support period of the Windows 7 operating system.
Microsoft will charge Enterprise customers the following amount of money per year and device according to her information:
Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Enterprise
The extended support period begins in January 2020 when Windows 7 support ends officially and it ends in January 2023 for good. Customers need to pay Microsoft for the first year to be eligible for support in the second, and for the second year to be eligible for extended support in the third year.
There is no minimum purchase necessary; extended support means that Microsoft will provide customers with cumulative security updates for the Windows 7 operating system for each year payments are made.
It is up for debate whether extended support costs "two arms and three legs" as Woody Leonhard sees it, or whether it is reasonable when companies weight the costs of extended support against the costs of upgrading systems and training employees.
I'd like to look at a hypothetical and unrealistic scenario:
Microsoft offers support extensions for Windows 7 only to Enterprise customers. What if Microsoft would make the same offer to Home users?
Would you, if you run a device with Windows 7, pay Microsoft for extended support? It would cost $350 to extend support by three years; that's more than a new copy of Windows 8.1 or 10 costs right now, and that is not even taking into account that you can get them dead cheap or maybe even upgrade the device to Windows 10 for free.
The advantage that comes out of extended support is similar to the advantage that Enterprise customers get: the operating system is good for another three years before it needs to be switched (ignoring the option to continue using the operating system without security patches).
Now You: Would you pay Microsoft for an extended support period?Advertisement
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.