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It may not be the end of Windows 7 on your network, but the days are definitely numbered.
22 Jan 2020


Windows 7 is now officially at the end of its life. His latest official update has been released. At least this is the case for home users: companies and professional users have more options. So what can you do with Windows 7 PCs and the licenses you still have?


If you have a large fleet of Windows 7 PCs and cannot migrate to Windows 10, you have the option to purchase Extended Security Updates (ESU) for three years to ensure support for critical issues until 2023. ESU is not an option for users domestic because it is only available for Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise editions. You do not need a volume license agreement. However, if you have one under Windows Enterprise Software Assurance or Windows Enterprise E3, you will receive a discount on ESU prices.


You can purchase Windows 7 ESU directly from Microsoft or from the cloud solution provider (CSP) partners. It is important to know that the ESU is only available for one year at a time. As there is no automatic renewal, you will have to buy them again in 2021 and 2022. If Microsoft treats Windows 7 ESU like the previous ESUs, prices are likely to increase as we move away from January 2020.


Put Windows 7 in the cloud

An alternative to running Windows 7 locally is to update the underlying operating system and deploy Windows 7 using Remote Desktop through the Windows Virtual Office service hosted by Azure. It is a useful tool for migrating because users can run Windows 10 locally with new applications and services, while applications that need to migrate to Windows 10 can still run on instances of Windows 7 hosted in the cloud.


The use of remote computers hosted by Microsoft offers an additional advantage, since all instances of Windows Virtual Desktop are automatically registered with ESU at no additional cost and can carry your existing Windows 7 licenses with you. You must still pay for the Azure resources your virtual machines use, but you can use reserved instances to significantly reduce costs. And since reserved instances can be returned to Azure when they are not in use, you can perform a scheduled uninstall of Windows 7 even after the Windows 10 migration is completed without spending money on unnecessary resources.


If the main concern is application compatibility, see the Microsoft Desktop App Assure service. Developed for companies that migrate to Windows 10, it is part of the FastTrack service. If you have an eligible Windows subscription, a Microsoft technician can help you diagnose compatibility issues for free. This can be very useful and save money, reducing the risks associated with software updates and custom operating systems.


Protect Windows 7

The end of support does not prevent your PCs from receiving antivirus updates. Most third-party security providers will continue to support this, and Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to provide signature updates. However, this is not a panacea: the available attack surface increases every day when Microsoft does not provide a security update for an operating system vulnerability. The antivirus can only protect you from known threats and known delivery methods.


There are ways to improve security beyond antivirus. If all the Windows 7 systems in your firewall are in a separate and unreliable VLAN and the network services are limited to the services required for your current set of applications, you can significantly reduce the visible attack area provided you maintain network protection updated. All laptops with Windows 7 must be removed from service and replaced with compatible operating systems or assigned ESU licenses.


Use the new Edge in old windows

One last option is fascinating. With the new Microsoft Edge, which is available for Windows 7 and should be compatible until 2021, you can treat your old PCs as a Windows equivalent of Chromebooks and only use a modern and secure browser. Switching users to web applications is easier than before because Office 365 offers web versions of popular Office desktop applications. Blocking systems only on the antivirus and SSL network ports makes protection easier, and with the new Edge, which receives updates approximately every six weeks, the risk of compromising the browser should be low.


The end of compatibility with Windows 7 does not mean the end of Windows 7 PCs in your network. However, it is a clear sign that it is time to upgrade to a newer and more compatible operating system, as Windows 7 security becomes increasingly difficult and even with more expensive ESU. If you take an ESU for a year or switch to Windows Virtual Desktop, you have enough room to transfer applications and test Windows 10 on old and new hardware while


Times are advancing, and we should accept new things. As more and more people use Windows 10, we are a bit resistant from the beginning to fully accept it now. If you need to upgrade Windows 10 and need to buy Windows 10 Pro Key, you can consider bzfuture.com. The keys there are reasonable and of high quality.

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