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Microsoft Windows 7 just got a stay of execution: software support will continue

Microsoft plans to extend Windows 7 support, giving the much loved operating system yet another stay of execution.

According to a provision spotted in Microsoft’s Windows 7 and Office 2010 end of support FAQ, enterprise customers that buy active Windows 10 subscriptions before the end of the year will now receive an additional year of support while they work to migrate their office to Windows 10.

“Starting June 1st, EA and EAS customers with active subscription licenses to Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, or Microsoft 365 E5 Security (as of December 31, 2019) will get Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for Year 1 as a benefit. With this limited-time promotion, you have more options to continue receiving Windows 7 security updates after end of support”.

Read our review of Microsoft Windows 7

To take advantage of the promotion, businesses must keep active Windows 10 E5 or 365 E5 subscriptions throughout the entire year. If you’re planning on upgrading to the latest operating system purely for the extended Windows 7 coverage you might want to put some serious thought into moving to the updated OS you’ll be paying for anyway.

Related: Best laptops 2019

Unfortunately, unless you have a particularly large family, your home computer probably won’t be eligible for this promotion. The EA and EAS packages are primarily aimed at medium to large businesses with 500 or more licenses to manage, including government E5 licenses but not the education-based EDU E5 subscriptions. That being said, there are certainly still options to keeping Windows 7 updated on personal computers (at least for a couple more years).

Related: Windows 10 vs Windows 7 – Should you upgrade?

Microsoft plans to trash free security updates for Windows 7 in January 2020 but it did announce a lifeline last September. The company will continue to offer paid Extended Security Updates to Windows 7 fans and free updates to Windows Virtual Desktop users up until January 2023. These paid security updates won’t be cheap, starting at $25 a year per device with the fee doubling each year, but if you’re not ready to let go of Windows 7 just yet it could be the only option to keep your laptop patched while you slowly make your way toward that Windows 10-shaped door.

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