Microsoft will let some Windows 7 customers get free security updates for an extra year

In four months, Windows 7 will reach end-of-life and no longer receive security updates.

That’s going to be a problem for some enterprises that still run the decade-old operating system. Starting January 14, 2020, Windows 7 computers will stop receiving security patches, leaving enterprises vulnerable to malware.

According to the latest data, some 37% of all desktop consumer and enterprise computers still run Windows 7, with Windows 10 marginally ahead at 41%.

There will be, however, some reprieve for enterprise customers with active Windows 10 subscriptions.

A little-publicized document published by Microsoft says top-tier customers with Windows E5, Microsoft 365 E5 and Government E5 subscriptions will get extended security updates for a year at no additional charge. After the year expires, Microsoft will charge each enterprise device $50 to receive updates for a second year and $100 per device for a third year.

Qualifying subscriptions must remain active until the end of the year and throughout the extended security updates period to continue to receive security updates, the document said.

But for everyone else on other Windows subscription plans, Microsoft will begin charging from the moment Windows 7 falls out of support in January, with a final cut-off for extended security updates in January 2023.

The software and services giant began warning users in March that they would soon stop receiving critical and necessary security updates. Microsoft recommends users upgrade to Windows 10, or obtain extended security updates as a “last resort.”

News of the security update extension was first reported by Computerworld.