Microsoft today announced that it will no longer provide security updates as the Windows 7 has just one year of free support left now.
As on January 14, 2020, Windows 7 will meet the end of extended support. That means, there will be no updates or fixes after that date, “unless a customer pays.”
In addition to Windows 7 desktop, Windows Embedded 7 will also be reaching the end of support on January 14, 2020.
“Similarly, Windows Embedded 7 extended support will end soon,” stated Brad Anderson.
The end of extended support will closely be followed by Office 2010.
The end of “mainstream” support for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 happened on January 13, 2015.
Mainstream support includes no-charge incident support and paid incident support, security update support, and the ability to request non-security updates.
While, extended support for a product includes paid support, free security update support; and extended Hotfix support.
With Microsoft ceasing Windows 7 / Windows 7 Embedded and Office 2010 support, the company is offering two ways to “move to a modern desktop.”
First, the customers and enterprises are advised to shift to Windows 10 with Office 365 ProPlus, or to Microsoft 365, its bundle of Windows 10, Office 365 and EMS.
“….Shifting to a modern desktop with Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus is a streamlined process that brings with it the most productive and most secure computing experience driven through cloud intelligence.”
For example, Office 365 offers security features like Message Encryption, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools to stay protected with HIPAA-related and General Data Protection Regulation-related (GDPR) data.
People can get started with the following top resources to shift to a modern desktop:
Desktop App Assure
Unveiled at the Ignite 2018, is a new Microsoft FastTrack service which is designed to address app compatibility issues with Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus.
Desktop App Assure is now available globally, and people can contact FastTrack team — and a Microsoft engineer will follow up and work with customers until the issue is resolved.
For more detailed information check this video:
Office 365 ProPlus
To shift from Office perpetual to Office 365 ProPlus, customers can use a new Office Customization Tool, which is also available natively in the Configuration Manager (Current Branch).
The tool makes it simple to manage both on-premises and the cloud infrastructure together.
Also, a simple toggle will clean out MSI deployments of Office perpetual editions during migration to Office 365 ProPlus Click-to-Run.
The video below walks through the step-by-step process of Office Customization Tool for Click-To-Run:
Co-management unlock more features that make devices management even better, like conditional access.
It allows customers to attach Intune to their Configuration Manager Current Branch deployment.
Lastly, Microsoft 365 Admin Center offers a consolidated, comprehensive view of all of admin dashboards and tasks in one place.
Similarly, Microsoft is offering migration paths to Windows 10 IoT to replace existing Windows 7 Embedded, as it’s extended support will too end on January 14, 2020.
Windows 10 IoT is available in two editions: Enterprise and Core, and it will be supported for 10 years, until 2028.
Here is a Windows 7 Embedded Timeline:
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is an evolution of Windows Embedded 7 family that offers more security, performance, manageability and next-gen Embedded Enabling Features.
While the Core an optimized version of Windows 10 is specifically designed for single-purpose devices that runs Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps.
It has a much smaller footprint >2 GB and supports ARM Systems on Chip (SoCs) while providing all security, supportability, and manageability features of Windows 10 family.
In addition, to Windows 7, Windows Embedded 7, Office 10, other products for which Microsoft is ending support as of January 14, 2020, includes Exchange Server 2010, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2.
Windows 7 was released almost 10 years ago in July of 2009 is still running on enterprises customers as Microsoft said last fall that “more than half of all Windows devices in the enterprise were running Windows 10, with the rest running Windows 7 and other older versions of Windows. ”
Those interested in getting security updates beyond the Jan 14, 2020 deadline, have following two ways that the company has designed for business customers:
Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) will be available through January 2023 on a per-device basis.
The ESUs can be avail by Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise users with volume-licensing, Windows Software Assurance and/or Windows 10 Enterprise, or Education subscription.
ESUs will also be provided at “no additional cost” to customers of Windows Virtual Desktop service for three years by using WVD.
Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop allows users to virtualize Windows 7 and Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus apps and other third-party applications by running them remotely in Azure virtual machines.
Also, as on January 14, 2020, Microsoft will stop supporting Office 365 ProPlus on Windows 7.
Customers paying for ESUs will continue to receive support for Office 365 ProPlus on Windows 7 for up to three years after that date, however.
Windows 8.1 customers will continue to get security updates from Microsoft for free until January 10, 2023.
Head over to this Microsoft migration page, featuring a checklist and reference to a free evaluation lab kit for testing Windows 10 Enterprise, System Center Config Manager, Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit, App-V, Windows Server and more.
Also, check out this page for step-by-step guidance on getting started with Modern Desktop Deployment Center for recommended steps, tools, and guidance to shift to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus.