Microsoft is offering a 'free' Windows 7 extended security update to some business users

Microsoft is running a limited-time promotion for EA and EAS customers which will give them a year of Windows 7 extended security updates for no additional charge.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Even though Windows 7 will no longer get free security updates after January 2020, Microsoft has been offering enterprises different ways to continue to get patches after that date. There's yet another option for Microsoft enterprise licensees that hasn't gotten much publicity which is available as a limited time promotion. 

Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS) customers with active subscriptions to Windows 10 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 and Microsoft 365 E5 Security can opt for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for a year for no additional charge. This promotion runs from June 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. The promotion is available for Government E5 SKUs, but not Education E5 SKUs, as Microsoft's latest end of support Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document notes. (I learned of this promotion from a Computerworld article.)

Microsoft announced last September that it would offer, for a fee, continuing security updates for Windows 7 to businesses through January 2023. Microsoft will no longer provide free Windows 7 security updates after January 14, 2020.

At the time, Microsoft officials said the paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) will be sold on a per-device basis, with the price increasing each year. These ESUs will be available to any Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise users with volume-licensing agreements, and those with Windows Software Assurance and/or Windows 10 Enterprise or Education subscriptions will get a discount. Office 365 ProPlus will continue to work on devices with Windows 7 Extended Security Updates through January 2023. 

Microsoft also is offering Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) customers these Windows 7 ESUs for no additional charge for three years as part of their WVD licensing fees. WVD is expected to be generally available in September, 2019.

These Windows 7 ESUs won't be cheap. For Windows Enterprise and Microsoft 365 users, Microsoft will provide ESUs as an "add-on." For the first year, that add-on is $25 per device. In year 2, coverage will cost $50 per device and in year three, $100 per device. For Windows 7 Pro users, that cost is $50 per device for the first year; $100 for the second and $200 for the third.

Full terms of the limited time ESU promotion are available in this document.

Editorial standards