Windows 7 support extended, despite the prevailing Windows 10
In 2018, Microsoft wants everyone to make Windows 10 their official operating system. But with some users keen on Windows 7, you can still continue enjoying the nine-year-old software if you’re a loyal user—as security updates have been extended.
Microsoft had initially announced its plans to get Windows 10 onto one billion devices by 2018, but about 40 percent of all Windows PCs and laptops are still running Windows 7.While some of these ‘loyalist’ are home users, most are businesses.
Already, Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows Vista support on April 11, 2017, and Windows XP hasn't gotten any security patches for a long time now. However, in the wake of multiple cyberattacks (particularly ransomware attacks), Microsoft had taken the unusual step of issuing a security patch for both ‘outdated’ operating systems, because of the high risk and the fact that millions of people are still using these versions of Windows.
Nonetheless, these updates came after the damage had been done—as the computers had already been infected. This is a major reason why it's highly recommended to use a newer version of Windows that receives automatic updates to help protect yourcomputer from disaster.
However, Microsoft recently announced as part of the Extended Security Updates (ESU) plan that it would continue to provide security updates for users who want to continue running Windows 7, up until January 2013—after initially announcing end-of-support for the OS on 14 January 2020. This ensure that Windows 7 operating systems still remains as secure as possible.
Unfortunately, this announcement doesn’t necessarily apply toHome users as it applies only to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise versions—mostly aimed at businesses.
In a new Microsoft 365 blog post, Microsoft announced that it will continue to offer IT support for Windows 7 in exchange for a monthly fee. This means that for Windows 7 users who want to continue receivingsecurity updates, they’d be tasked with paying a monthly fee.
Microsoft hasn’t announced the specific amount to be paid yet but has said that the extended updates will be “sold on a per-device basis and the price will increase each year”. However, users can still run an antivirus package for added layer of protection—and use a Bitdefender coupon to save cost on security packages.
Also, the blog post noted that the extended service option 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.”
The blog equally explained that “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.”
It's important to note that the ESU plan mostly applies to businesses than homes users. Nonetheless, if eventually the prices become too expensive—or you’re running the Windows 7 Home version—then it’s definitely not advisable to keep running Windows 7 OS past 14 January 2020, especially if your computer is still actively connected to the internet.
Microsoft already made an announcement for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update at IFA 2018—which is the next major Windows 10 update.
"With this update, we’ll be bringing new features and enhancements to the nearly 700 million devices running Windows 10 that help people make the most of their time," said Microsoft’s RoanneSones. "We’ll share more details about the update over the coming weeks."
"We’re excited to bring even more experiences and innovation to our customers with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update," added Microsoft Corporate VP Erin Chapple.