MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that it will offer an extension to Windows 7 support. For a price. Because of course.
Windows 7 is due to reach end of life (EOL) in less than 500 days on 14 January 2020, but around 40 per cent of the world's computers, most in corporate environments, are still running the venerable nine-year-old system.
For the first time, Microsoft has publicly stated that it will carry on supporting Windows 7, for users willing to pay. It did the same with Windows XP, but those deals tended to be done behind locked doors. This time, Microsoft is clearer - if you've got the cash, it has the means.
Prices will vary depending on volume (charges are per machine), and how far out from the EoL date we are. So by January 2023, which forms the absolute stop date, stragglers could be paying a pretty penny.
In a recent survey, it was found that well over half of companies had no plans to upgrade. Microsoft has not suggested any plans to make businesses contractually obliged to show they are working towards migration, as they did with XP. Whether that will come later we don't know, though, by 2022, it may be that the fees are so high that it's actually worth more to Microsoft not to force upgrades.
It is understood that the UK government paid £5.5m in public money for a year of extended support for Windows which didn't include vital services like the NHS, so we're not talking in small units.
We've been warning for some time that Windows 7 is becoming a ticking time bomb and that we appear to have learned little from the Windows XP wind-down debacle.
The problem is, after Windows 8, and Updategate, and a whole host of caveats and moving goalposts, people seem to think it's better the devil you know, and that moving on from Windows 7 could result in nasty surprises along the line. The question now is, how much companies are willing to pay for stability. μ
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