Microsoft had earlier announced that it would kill support for the long-standing Windows 7 OS on January 14, 2020. Now the company has revealed that support for the OS is being extended until January 2023. However, there's a catch. It comes at a cost—a monthly cost, in fact. According to a new blog post on the matter, Microsoft will offer Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) on a per-device basis and the price will increase each year.
ESU is available for all types of Windows 7 licenses, including Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise. Customers with Volume Licencing can avail ESU at a discounted price. This should be a slight relief for organisations that are still deploying Windows 7 but are also in the process of upgrading to Windows 10. In addition to the extended support for Windows 7, Microsoft is throwing in an Office 365 ProPlus subscription, which is valid until January 2023.
Users who don't want to pay for ESU can, of course, continue using Windows 7 but won't receive updates that protect the operating system against security vulnerabilities and other issues. According to a StatCounter report, over 38 percent of computers worldwide still run on Windows 7. This means Microsoft has enough reason to provide extended support until most of the machines are upgraded to Windows 10.
To many, this news may come as a sneak attack from Microsoft. Though Microsoft is eager to push its users towards Windows 10, the latest offering from Microsoft that promises a lifetime of free updates, many users still depend on and prefer Windows 7 for its simplicity and reliability. The learning curve associated with any new product is likely to be another reason for users to stick to Windows 7.