Microsoft to make Windows 7 Extended Security Updates available to all business users

In a strategy shift, Microsoft will make Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 available to smaller business customers, too, starting on December 1.

Despite nagging from Microsoft, millions of users have yet to upgrade from Windows 7 Nearly half of all PCs used in small businesses are running Windows 7 despite Microsoft's January 2020 deadline.

Microsoft is making Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) available to more customers. Instead of making them available to larger companies with volume licensing agreements only, Microsoft is going to make ESUs available to businesses of any size, officials announced on October 1. 

Beginning December 1, 2019, small-and-midsize businesses (SMBs) also will be able to purchase ESUs if they are not going to be ready to get off Windows 7 as of January 14, 2020, which is the date Microsoft will end free support (and security updates) for the product. SMBs will be able to get the ESUs for up to three years by purchasing them from qualified Cloud Solution Provider partners, officials said. 

Also: Windows 7 end of life: Months from patch cut-off, millions still haven't upgraded

Before today, Windows 7 ESUs were only going to be available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers with volume licensing arrangements.

Last fall, Microsoft officials said they would provide Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for three years, meaning through January 2023. These will be security patches/fixes like the ones Microsoft is currently providing for free for Windows 7 users, as Windows 7 is still being supported by Microsoft through January 14, 2020.   

Windows 7 ESU pricing won't be cheap, especially for customers wanting to apply them to multiple PCs. They are more expensive for customers using the Pro version of Windows than the Enterprise one. The price of the ESUs goes from $25 per device for Windows Enterprise users in year one, to $100 per device for year three. For Pro users, ESU pricing goes from $50 per device in year one up to $200 per device in year three.