Want to keep using Windows 7 after 2020? It'll cost you

Image credit: Future Publishing

When Windows 7 reaches its End of Life on January 14 2020, Microsoft will no longer support the aging operating system, which means anyone using Windows 7 could be at risk as there will be no more free security patches.

However, with many people – and businesses – still using Windows 7 (we reported a few days ago that Windows 7 is actually gaining users), this could leave a lot of people in the lurch, which is why late last year Microsoft announced it would be offering Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for a fee.

It has now been revealed who will be eligible for those extended security updates (ESU), and how much they will cost.

The cost of support

Microsoft has apparently disclosed how much these updates will cost, and they will be made available to Enterprise and Microsoft 365 customers, which can buy the Windows 7 Extended Security Updates on a per device basis.

These updates are aimed at businesses that are unable to move to Windows 10 before Windows 7’s End of Life date, and are only meant to offer support while businesses prepare to move.

The pricing is expensive, and the cost rises over the years. So, for support for Windows Enterprise users using Windows 7 for the first year after the End of Life date (January 2020 – January 2021), the cost is $25 (around £20, AU$35).

This rises to $50 per device (around £40, AU$70) for year two (January 2021 – January 2022), and $100 (around £80, AU$140) for year three (January 2022 to January 2023). It appears that at the moment that Microsoft is hoping by 2023, Windows 7 use will be small enough to stop offering the extended security updates.

As this is a per device cost, businesses with numerous PCs running Windows 7 will soon find this very expensive.

If they are using Windows 7 Pro, then those prices are even higher, with $50 (around £40, AU$70) for year one support, $100 (around £80, AU$140) for year two and $200 (around £150, AU$280) for year three.

If you’re a non-business user who wants to keep using Windows 7, then you could theoretically sign up as an Enterprise user, as there’s no minimum purchase necessary for the Windows 7 ESU, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

It’s far cheaper – and easier – to say goodbye to Windows 7 and instead upgrade to Windows 10.

Via ZDNet

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.