WITH WINDOWS 7 reaching end of life (EOL) in 11 months, you could be forgiven for thinking we're sleepwalking into another Windows XP situation, with the operating system being axed despite a major market share.
But Microsoft isn't completely resting on its laurels. Business users are now being briefed on exactly how much extending that deadline will cost.
ZDNet reports that Extended Security Updates (ESU) will once again be charged and will double for each successive year that they're required. There are also specific penalties for companies that choose Windows 7 Pro over Windows 7 Enterprise, as the company tries to push all corporate users on to its top tier offering.
In year one, Windows Enterprise support will be $25 per machine - no small potatoes when your firm has thousands of machines. Windows 7 Pro users have it worse, at $50 per machine.
These prices double in year two ($50/$100) and again in year three ($100/$200). There will be no year four, though we suspect that Microsoft will change its mind if a multi-national decides to throw stupid money at it.
All these prices also include ESU for Office 365 Pro Plus and may be subject to bulk discounts, although we suspect any ongoing relationship like that would involve Redmond leaning heavily on the client to get over themselves and upgrade to the ‘greatest version of Windows' (sigh).
If a company decided in year two that it wanted to opt in, after going commando for a year, they would have to pay the accumulative price for the two years, again, per machine.
For the record and as you'd expect, Microsoft won't be offering extensions for Home users.
Microsoft has declined to elaborate on these reports, instead advising firms to deal directly with their Microsoft rep, but with documentation showing the price list already in the public domain, it seems that this is the figure we're looking at.
Microsoft will do everything they can to retain their customers, but we could also see firms deciding to take the jump to Chrome OS, Linux or macOS, and we'll expect some aggressive bulk pricing from all three this year. μ
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