Windows 7 extended support is ending in 2020. Here’s how to prepare.

 In Microsoft, Software

To all the Windows 7 users out there, we have an important announcement for you – and you’ll want to pay attention:

Windows 7 extended support is ending on Jan. 14, 2020.

With less than a year to go, now’s the time to start upgrading. It’s likely you have questions. Not to worry, we’re here to help.

What does end of support mean for you?

Basically, if your PC is running Windows 7 after Jan. 14, 2020, you will no longer receive:

  • Security updates. Your systems and data will be at risk once Microsoft stops delivering patches and other security fixes for Windows 7.
  • Technical support. If you run into any issues, you’ll need to resolve them in-house.

Support for Internet Explorer on Windows 7 devices will also be discontinued on Jan. 14, 2020.

What are your available options?

There are two ways to prepare for the end of Windows 7 extended support:

  1. Upgrade to Windows 10. There are several ways to do this. You can choose to upgrade just the Windows operating system itself, or you can upgrade to a complete modern solution such as Microsoft 365. It all depends on your needs and use cases. However, before you upgrade, do a proper analysis of your existing applications to see which devices and applications are compatible with Windows 10. You can do this by using the free Windows Analytics tool.
  2. Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU). Microsoft recognizes that customers operate on different timelines. Some customers can’t upgrade from Windows 7 right away; some, like local and state governments, are required to run certain applications on Windows 7, while others, just by the sheer number of seats they have, will need time to make the transition. Microsoft made Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU) available to accommodate these cases.

What you should know about Windows 7 ESU

Once it’s available, you can purchase Windows 7 ESU through January 2023. Pricing information is not available yet, but you should be aware of the following:

  • Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per device basis and increase in price each year.
  • Windows 7 ESU will be available to all Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing. Customers with active SA on Windows 10 licensing will receive a discount.
  • Office 365 ProPlus will be supported on devices with the active Windows 7 ESU through January 2023.

There’s no time to wait

If you continue to use Windows 7 after the end of support, you open yourself up to security risks, possible viruses, and other vulnerabilities, as you’ll no longer be receiving software and security updates from Microsoft. Use Windows 7 ESU only if you need the extra time to upgrade.

Jan. 14, 2020 will be here before you know it, and you’ll no longer have Windows 7 extended support. The time to act is now.

If you have any questions about the end of Windows 7 extended support, Windows 7 ESU, or upgrading to Windows 10, contact your SHI account executive.

Emily Brown contributed to this post.

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