Updated: Jan 6, 2020
Windows 7 Support will officially end on 14 January 2020.
What does this mean?
After 14 January 2020, if your PC is running Windows 7, it will no longer receive security updates.
In addition, Microsoft customer service will no longer be available to provide Windows 7 technical support. Related services for Windows 7 will also be discontinued over time. For example, certain games such as Internet Backgammon and Internet Checkers as well as Electronic Program Guide for Windows Media Center are scheduled to be discontinued in January 2020.
What happens if I continue to use Windows 7?
If you continue to use Windows 7 after support has ended, your PC will still work, but it will become vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Your PC will continue to start and run, but you will no longer receive softwre updates, including security updates, from Microsoft.
What should I do?
The first question to ask yourself is: Am I running any application that needs to be installed on a Windows 7 operating system?
If the answer is a “no”, then the recommendation would be to move to a new device with Windows 10. Today's PCs are faster, lightweight yet powerful, and more secure, with an average price that's considerably less than that of the average PC eight years ago.
Alternatively, compatible Windows 7 PCs can be upgraded by purchasing and installing a full version of Windows 10.
If the answer is a “yes, I am running an application that needs to be installed on a Windows 7 OS, so I cannot upgrade to Windows 10 now”, then we have two solutions for you:
Purchase paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates
Virtualize your Windows 7 desktop on Azure Windows Virtual Desktop
Microsoft will be offering paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU), which will continue to deliver updates and patches for Windows 7 business users through January 2023. Starting from 1 December 2019, businesses with Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise will be able to purchase ESU through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. The Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis and the price will increase each year.
As this is a per device cost, businesses with numerous PCs running Windows 7 will soon find this very expensive.
Another solution is to virtualize your Windows 7 desktop on Azure Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). Using WVD, customers will be able to provide remote desktop sessions with multiple users logged into the same Windows 7 virtual machine. You can also opt to virtualize the full desktop or individual Microsoft Store and/or line-of-business applications.
Windows 7 machines on WVD are eligible for 3 years of ESU beyond the January 2020 end-of-support date at no extra cost. Microsoft estimates that a typical task worker and Office 365 user will cost about US$10 (S$14) per month in Azure resources, with VDI and more intensive workloads being more expensive.
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