Extended security support model incents customers to upgrade within a year of Windows 7 end of life
The deadline for enterprises to switch to Windows 10 just moved out a little further for some organizations with active enterprise support subscriptions. Microsoft says it will provide security and technical support beyond the Windows 7 end of life – scheduled for January 2020 – for certain enterprises through an expensive model that incents upgrades.
The Lowdown: Microsoft will give away one-year Windows 7 and Office 2010 security to enterprises with active Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Enterprise Agreement Subscriptions (EAS) for Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, or Microsoft 365 E5 Security. The extended service is only valid if the subscription is in continuous effect with no lapses. Once the subscription lapses, so does the extended coverage. After the first year, Microsoft says enterprises can purchase extended Windows 7 support for $50 per seat in 2021 and $100 per seat in 2022.
Additionally, Windows Pro users can purchase extended per-device Windows 7 support beyond the scheduled January 2020 end of life for $50 in 2020, $100 in 2021, and $200 in 2022.
The Details: The EA and EAS E5 subscriptions are the most expensive support plans and typically used by Microsoft’s top enterprise and government customers. The pricing model behind the extended support is to motivate enterprises to upgrade to Windows 10 to avoid the ongoing expensive support costs. Microsoft believes most customers taking advantage of the free and paid extended support will need only a year beyond the Windows 7 end of life.
The Impact: The extended support – free and paid – will provide some businesses with a temporary reprieve as they continue to sort out their Windows 10 adoption and transition. According to Microsoft, 37% of its operating system customers still use Windows 7, which is just four months away from end of life. The extension will provide Microsoft partners some breathing room in helping their customers migrate to Windows 10. The downside of the extension is that customers will lose a sense of urgency to upgrade immediately, which could impact some partner revenue.
Channelnomics Point of View: With more than one-third of the Windows installed base still on Windows 7, Microsoft recognizes it can shut off support as planned in January. The extended support model shows how economics is a tool that can motivate customer behavior that produces a mutually beneficial outcome.