Microsoft is ending its support for the wildly popular Windows 7 operating system, and although there will be support available past January 2020, it won’t be cheap. Considering the ongoing security threats that continue to escalate, it is highly recommended to upgrade. There will be businesses who have not not made a change by that time or don’t have a plan in place to upgrade, and for them we may be of some help. With the appropriate technology success partner, your network can guided towards successful updates, upgrades and regular security patching. Microsoft understands there will be businesses who do not upgrade by 2020, though, and are offering extended support services as an olive branch. But it comes with a hefty price tag.

Background

Windows 7 was the most popular operating system Microsoft has ever had. More PCs have run Windows 7 than any other operating system (OS) in history. Despite all Microsoft’s efforts to get more people upgraded to Windows 10 (even offering it for free for a time), it took until December of 2018 for Windows 10 to pass Windows 7 in number of users. Windows 10 is now running on over 700 million devices.

A large part of what keeps businesses from making upgrades is threefold:

  • Lack of awareness (both of the benefits of upgrading, as well as how to upgrade)
  • Lack of funds for upgrades (often, existing hardware may not perform as well and upgrading is a cost both to software and hardware)
  • Lack of support from their team (staff are reluctant to change, ownership don’t like change)

 

Desptie 10’s eventual success, Windows 7 is still running on over 600 million devices as of this writing; Windows 7 still is run by over 30 percent of the devices in the world. Unsupported software of any kind is a major problem, but with an operating system doing a lot of the heavy lifting for these businesses, it is integral that an OS is running the most up-to-date security software, and businesses only have until January 2020 to execute an upgrade.

Windows 7 Extended Security Updates

For those organizations that cannot be steered from using Windows 7, Microsoft is offering an olive branch, but at a cost. Noting the immense amount of PCs still running the OS under a year from its end-of-life (EOL) date, Microsoft has made available Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. This program will add support through January 2023, giving these organizations more time to upgrade.

The add-on support will be sold per-device in one-year increments, with costs expected to double each year. To cover a single Windows 7 PC for three years would run about $175 if the company is already a Windows 10 Enterprise or Microsoft 365 Enterprise customer. If it isn’t (and doesn’t plan on becoming one), it will cost $350 per Windows 7 system. There are also additional fees for organizations that need to jump into coverage in years two or three.

Your Options

Your options are pretty simple: either ante up and upgrade to Windows 10, or ante up on extended support. Best practice for software investment is paying for up to date software with current security protocols and patching in place. Sometimes businesses just need a helping hand to do so, and that’s where proper guidance and support from ActiveCo plays a large role with our clients. The professional consultants at ActiveCo Technology Management can help you acquire and maintain any software solution you need for your business. We can deliver the on-premise or cloud-hosted solutions needed to get your business’ IT assets protected and routinely upgraded. If you don’t have a plan in place regarding the EOL of Windows 7, call us today at 604.931.3633 for more information.

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