Windows 7 End of Life: Extended Security Updates

Article by Jason Cooper on January 14, 2020
Jason Cooper
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As you may know by now, a number of Microsoft applications and operating systems, including Windows 7 and Server 2008, will no longer be supported or patched after today, January 14, 2020. These operating systems are considered to be at end-of-life (EOL) operating systems. Over the past year, it has been a top priority to notify all of our customers under our managed IT care that Windows 7 and Server 2008 have been drawing to an end of Microsoft support.

Endsight Support & End Of Life Operating Systems

Though Microsoft will not support Windows 7, Endsight will still provide support for the small fraction of our clients who have end-of-life computers and servers. All our contracts exclude labor associated with hardware and/or software not supported by the manufacturer. Therefore, after January 14, 2020, any support rendered for, or on, a Windows 7 or Server 2008 system, will be provided on a time and materials basis. Windows end-of-life products include:

  • Windows 7 and below
  • Server 2008 R2 and below
  • Exchange 2007 and below
  • Office 2007 and below
  • SQL 2008 R2 and below

As with troubleshooting any old technology goes, we will do everything in our power to provide an excellent support experience to any of our customers who have the technology listed here.

Extended Security Updates Deployment

Microsoft is offering a program called Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise versions. ESU is also offered for Server 2008, but unfortunately, not everyone will meet the licensing eligibility requirements for the program. More information about this can be found on the Microsoft ESU FAQ.

It is extremely important to maintain security patching on all systems in operation. To that end, we have resolved to purchase and deploy ESU for all outdated devices our customers still have under our managed IT agreements. Though we gave our clients the opportunity to opt-out of ESU for any or all systems, it's not advised. We strongly recommend ESU for all systems in use after today, even if our clients plan to retire one or more systems later in the year. Furthermore, we will closely monitor Microsoft’s position on ESU for Server 2008.

Extended Security Updates Limitations

The Extended Security Updates only includes critically important security updates. That's it. So all line of business applications and integrations that use Windows 7 or Server 2008 operating systems are not supported by Microsoft. And this doesn't always mean that we can fully resolve the problems that may arise. Sometimes the only thing that can happen with a support issue is proper patching. And Microsoft will only patch under ESU what they deem important enough to patch.

Purchasing ESU does not change the end of life date for Windows 7 nor Server 2008. Microsoft still considers them unsupported versions after 1/14/2020. Practically speaking, that means support is not available, nor will any fixes or general updates be released. This will have a cascading impact on 3rd party applications and devices not being supported on those operating systems. Even still, it's far better to have this protection by mitigating the security risk associated with operating EOL systems. The small cost of ESU per unit is far more than worth it.

If you have questions about anything related to security, please do reach out to your technical account manager or contact us. In the meantime, we appreciate this opportunity to continue to partner with you in patching and securing these devices to the greatest extent possible.

Tags: IT security, IT support, IT management

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