Windows 7 is scheduled to reach the end of support on January 14, and customers are recommended to upgrade their devices to supported Windows before this deadline in order to continue receiving updates.
Microsoft, however, will offer custom updates to enterprises in exchange for a fee that will increase every year, all in an attempt to give them more time to make the switch to newer Windows.
Recently, Microsoft announced a promo supposed to do exactly the same thing, pretty much allowing certain customers to stick on Windows 7 for a little bit longer until they are ready to upgrade devices.
The promo that kicked off on June 1, 2018, is specifically aimed at EA and EAS customers with active subscriptions for Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Security, and Windows VDA E5.
Consumers must upgrade
All of them will receive Windows 7 security updates for one more year “as a benefit,” Microsoft says, as part of the campaign that is valid until January 14, 2020. The free updates are only shipped to volume licensing customers, though.
“Grants to Windows 7 ESU 2020 will be valid starting on June 1, 2019. This is when promotion-eligible customers will start seeing Windows 7 ESU keys in VLSC. However, please notice that customers will not see entitlements to Windows 7 ESU in their License Summary in VLSC until the ESU coverage start date of January 14, 2020,” Microsoft explains.
For everyone else, Windows 7 will be retired on January 14. Consumers running the Home and Pro versions of Windows 7 have no other option than to upgrade, but the good news is that they can still move to Windows 10 completely free of charge.
Staying with Windows 7 without security updates could expose the device to exploits aimed at vulnerabilities discovered in the operating system.