When Windows 7 was released on October 22 back in 2009, Microsoft announced a ten-year product support period that included both security updates and customer support, with the end of life (EOL) date projected to be January 14, 2020. Much like Windows XP, however, Windows 7 still represents a significant portion of the overall Windows market – over 40% of desktops as of August 2018. Acknowledging this large user base, Microsoft has announced that they will offer paid Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January of 2023.
Sold on a per-device basis and with a yearly price increase, Windows 7 ESUs are aimed primarily at businesses, with Windows Software Assurance and Enterprise or Education subscribers receiving a discount. Additional support for Office 365 ProPlus on ESU enabled devices is through 2023 as well. As for gaming, since Windows 7 does not support DirectX 12, Microsoft’s decision to keep the operating system afloat for another five years could yield slightly diminished sales figures for future DX12 exclusive titles.
While Microsoft has previously offered an extended EOL service, the process was a private one. The company offered Custom Support Agreements (CSA) to large enterprise users in the past, but required “migration plans with quarterly deployment milestones and a project completion date” in order to receive custom Windows XP patches.
More information regarding desktop support, operating system deployment, and the future of Windows security patches can be found in a recent statement from Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Office and Windows Marketing.
Image Source: Microsoft