Microsoft reveals new charges for Windows 7 extended security updates

Microsoft reveals new charges for Windows 7 extended security updates

Good news, Windows 7 users! Microsoft will offer Windows 7 extended security updates (ESU) for three more years after the end of extended support date on January 2020. This means Australian organisations that are reluctant to upgrade will have more time with Windows 7. However, there is a catch: they have to pay for these patches.

According to a Microsoft blog, Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis. This offer only covers those subscribed to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise volume licensing. The ESU is a tempting option for those wanting to avoid the costs of deploying Windows 10, but it does comes at a price.

The costs

Leaked reports reveal that Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise customers need to pay an annual fee to get cumulative security updates for over 12 months. Support costs will double every year, but Windows users who opt for Enterprise volume licensing do get significant discounts for updates.

Here is a simple pricing breakdown of the paid security updates (costs are in USD):

Windows 7
Windows 7 Enterprise
volume licensing

Year 1 (January 2020–2021)

$50 per device

$25 per device
Year 2 (January 2021–2022)
$100 per device

$50 per device
Year 3 (January (2022–2023)
$200 per device

$100 per device

Paying $25 or $50 USD for one year’s worth of security updates may not seem expensive, but costs can quickly add up. Especially for companies with hundreds of Windows 7-powered PCs. Additionally, those who purchase Window 7 ESU in the second or third year still have to pay for prior years, so it doesn’t make sense to subscribe late to the service.

What this means for Australian business

Australian organisations have a few options moving forward. They can sign up for the ESU and postpone upgrading their systems, or better yet, they can use the time between now and January 2020 to migrate to Windows 10.

Windows 10 also has a Professional and an Enterprise version. The retail price for Windows 10 Pro starts at AU$339 per licence and is catered for smaller businesses, while Windows 10 Enterprise is priced on a per-device, per-user basis. What’s more, the Enterprise edition may also include affordable discounts through the volume licensing plan, which provide longer-term licences and allows companies to re-deploy and manage licences across devices and people.

It’s also important to evaluate the age of the PC. If computers initially came with Windows 7 and are more than five years old, it may not be worth upgrading them to Windows 10. This is because PCs are usually past their warranty after the five-year mark. Purchasing new computers and installing Windows 10 on them can save businesses more in the long run.

Security risks

Of course, those who don’t want to pay for the Windows 7 ESU or an upgrade can continue to run their old Windows 7 as is. However, doing so puts them at even higher risk of software bugs and security vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals usually attack unsupported systems to infiltrate networks and steal data. This results in thousands of dollars in data loss, downtime, and a damaged reputation for the affected company.

The bottom line is, keeping your systems up to date is the smartest thing you can do to minimise a host of security and software issues. However, there is a lot of thought and strategy that goes into moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10, which is why Empower IT Solutions is here to help.

Our team consists of technicians who have years of experience with Microsoft technologies, such as Windows 10, Office 365, and SharePoint. When you sign up for our services, we’ll evaluate your current systems and devise a clear-cut strategy to ensure your systems are up to date, fully supported, and risk-free. Call us today!