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Why your business will not benefit from Windows 7 extended support

Our recent blog about the Windows 7 upgrade situation is quickly become one of our most popular. And for good reason since many businesses and individuals are still using machines with Microsoft's aging but venerable operating system. The news this week that Microsoft would be extending delivery of crucial security updates past the January 14, 2020 "end of support" date for Windows 7 has caused some organizations with machines still running the operating system to question their upgrade options.

What we've heard at Amaxra from some IT decision makers over the past few days boils down to this basic reasoning: "If Microsoft is reversing course and offering security updates for my Windows 7 machines then I have no reason to perform a Windows 10 upgrade." However, when you look at the details of how Windows 7 security updates will be administered, you'll see that upgrading all your machines to Windows 10 is still the best decision your business can make.

Extending the security updates for Windows 7 (for certain customers)

Businesses with Windows 7 machines were concerned about the January 14, 2020 deadline to receive any security updates from Microsoft. Industry analysts estimate there are still almost a quarter of a billion machines running Windows 7 today. To reduce some of their largest enterprise customers' fears about being unable to upgrade all of their PCs in time, those with either a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS) were granted a reprieve of sorts: the ability to receive "Windows 7 Extended Security Updates" until 2023—but only if they were willing to pay. Any organization with Windows 7 Pro or Windows 7 Enterprise machines and a valid EA/EAS could pay $50 per machine to receive the security updates after the January 14, 2020 deadline. After a year, the cost per machine for receiving Windows 7 security updates would increase to $100. By 2023, the organization would pay $200 per machine for Windows 7 security updates.

Microsoft announced on October 1, 2019 that SMBs would also be eligible to pay for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates until 2023. The pricing is the same for SMBs but only if they're using Windows 7 professional or Windows 7 enterprise editions. It cannot be stressed enough that both large enterprises and SMBs with machines running the consumer-grade Windows 7 Home operating system are not eligible to receive the extended security updates from Microsoft.

The downsides to this extended security updates program should be obvious:

  • While you will receive critical and important rated security patches for your Windows 7 machines, your organization will be responsible for finding 24/7 technical support on all of those machines
  • Your first year of updates at $50 per seat is obviously designed to get you to hurry up and move off Windows 7 because subsequent years' costs will eventually rise by 400%
  • Legacy versions of Microsoft Office on those Windows 7 machines won't be covered by the extended security updates program. For example, if your organization is still using Office 2010, then there is no option to receive tech support, bug fixes, and security patches for any of those outdated apps

Your smartest, most cost-effective upgrade path to Windows 10

Microsoft 365 is the best solution for a Windows 7 upgrade to Windows 10 because your business gets not only the latest and most secure version of Windows 10 Pro on every PC, but you also get the latest cloud-powered Microsoft Office 365 apps. This bundle of operating system, productivity apps, and cybersecurity is served from Microsoft's global cloud infrastructure and easily managed from a single unified customer portal.

When you purchase Microsoft 365 through Amaxra, you can focus on your business and let us take care of the IT for you. Amaxra consultants work with you to design a plan to deploy Microsoft 365 in a way that not only upgrades your Windows 7 PCs but also optimizes them for your unique business. And as a Microsoft certified Gold-level Partner, Amaxra leverages our years of expertise to ensure you get outstanding customer service, increased productivity, enhanced protection, and knowledgeable experts to serve your team.

Contact me at mike.arntzen@amaxra.com or call 425 749 7471 if you have any questions or comments on this blog.

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