MICROSOFT'S HEAD OF IRONY has announced that extra-beyond-ultimate end of life support for Windows 7 will be available from April Fools' Day.
The Extended Security Updates program is designed to help organisations that aren't going to be ready to dispense with Windows 7 when it reaches end of life on 14 January 2020.
Microsoft has already confirmed that the service, which will offer 'Critical' and 'Important' updates (but nothing labelled as 'Optional') will start at $25 per machine, per year, for up to three years. Each year will see the fees doubled.
Users who don't join in the first year will also have to pay accruals if they join later. Prices are lower for Windows 10 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Enterprise.
Microsoft has confirmed that, despite earlier reports, Windows 7 ESU users will still be able to use desktop editions of Office apps, and will still get updates to Internet Explorer 11 - an essential for those companies that are still using internal web apps that don't render in Chromium.
The company, and indeed the business community are keen to avoid a repeat of the Windows XP end of life debacle which saw many organisations completely failing to understand the repercussions of the operating system's sunsetting, and not making arrangements in time.
Many who did upgrade, went for the more conservative choice of Windows 7, meaning that they now face a new upheaval as Windows 10 becomes the only game in town (apart from Windows 8.1 but nobody wants that).
One of the biggest customers for the Windows XP extended support was the UK government which is believed to have spent over £1m on patches in the first year after EOL.
Failure to keep up to date with Microsoft's timelines can have some serious repercussions as hackers take advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities to spread malware.
Any sysadmins interested in applying for Extended Security Updates should contact their Microsoft account manager or reseller for full pricing. μ
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