Support for Windows 7 was presumed to have ended in January of 2020 for consumers; however, Microsoft has decided to start offering paid extensions for Windows 7 security updates. They have also decided to extend the support cycle for businesses that leverage Windows 10 to help them make the shift to the newer operating system. Based on Microsoft’s own estimates, the Windows 7 user count currently makes up 40.27% of the total market share of all deployed operating systems, with Windows 10 making up 37.80%, and Windows XP at 3.30%. Windows 7’s user base is decreasing on average of just under 1% a month at this rate, though.
Microsoft’s offical post here:
Based on that feedback, we’re announcing four changes:
-All currently supported feature updates of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions (versions 1607, 1703, 1709, and 1803) will be supported for 30 months from their original release date. This will give customers on those versions more time for change management as they move to a faster update cycle.
-All future feature updates of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions with a targeted release month of September (starting with 1809) will be supported for 30 months from their release date. This will give customers with longer deployment cycles the time they need to plan, test, and deploy.
-All future feature updates of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions with a targeted release month of March (starting with 1903) will continue to be supported for 18 months from their release date. This maintains the semi-annual update cadence as our north star and retains the option for customers that want to update twice a year.
-All feature releases of Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, and Office 365 ProPlus will continue to be supported for 18 months (this applies to feature updates targeting both March and September).
“With that in mind, today we are announcing that we will offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023,” writes Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Office and Windows Marketing, in a blog post. “The Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis and the price will increase each year. Windows 7 ESUs will be available to all Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing, with a discount to customers with Windows software assurance, Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education subscriptions. In addition, Office 365 ProPlus will be supported on devices with active Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023. This means that customers who purchase the Windows 7 ESU will be able to continue to run Office 365 ProPlus.”
Of course, TriVault does indeed recommend updating to Windows 10 and continuously upgraded/patching to maintain proper security.