Smart. Microsoft has found a way to generate some nice side revenue from Windows 7, which is currently the world’s most popular desktop operating system.
But one that is getting ready for sunset, with end of life set for January 14, 2020.
And while Redmond is keen on moving the user base to a newer version of the operating system, ideally Windows 10, the company also has a backup plan in mind — that of offering paid security updates beyond the retirement of this OS.
The software titan made things official in an announcement, confirming that businesses will be able to get Extended Security Updates (ESU) until January 2023.
These updates will be sold on a per device basis, with a price increase every year:
“The Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis and the price will increase each year. Windows 7 ESUs will be available to all Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing, with a discount to customers with Windows software assurance, Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education subscriptions.”
In other words, this is not so that these users can stay on Windows 7 for three extra years, but rather to ease up their move to Windows 10.
These paid updates will only be available for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers that use Volume Licensing. That said, the software giant did not disclose actual pricing for them, probably because it plans to calculate it based on a series of factors.
Windows 7 currently has a market share that hovers around the 40% mark, which still puts it ahead of Windows 10.
The latest version of Windows, though, is likely to secure the leading spot by the end of the year.