[German]It was a 'difficult birth' – over three weeks I have drilled thick boards and tried to to get some details and especially prices for Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU). Finally I found a German Microsoft Partner who offers Extended Security Updates (ESU) licenses for SMBs. Small companies and SMEs (from Europe) can order the Windows 7 support extension (ESU).
What is the Windows 7 ESU program?
Support for Windows 7 SP1 will end on January 14, 2020 and the operating system will no longer receive security updates. Exceptions are systems that continue to be supported through the Extended Security Update (ESU) program.
The program was already announced in 2018 – I had reported in several blog posts like Wow! Windows 7 get extended support until January 2023 about this support extension for companies (see also the links at the end of the article). In the blog post Windows 7 Extended Security Updates buyable from April 2019, I also reported that corporate customers with a volume license agreement and software assurance (maintenance agreement) could book the ESU option for 2020 in the Volume License Center from April 1, 2019. And there was a free offer for large customers who have an Enterprise Agreement and an Enterprise Agreement Subscription for Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 E5 (see Windows 7: Free Extended Update Support and usage).
Alone, the mass of small customers, i.e. individual users, freelancers or small companies, and small and medium-sized businesses are looking into the tubes with the above offers. In October 2019, Microsoft then took the next step and announced the Extended Security Update Program (ESU) for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), which usually do not have a volume license and software maintenance agreement. The whole thing was supposed to start on December 1, 2019 (but that's a Sunday, so the program should start at December 2). So everything is fine?
Vapor ware and empty promises?
I had already tried to find out details in the middle of November 2019 for some articles. I wanted to know what an ESU license costs for individual Windows 7 PCs and where to order it. Alone, I failed miserably in this respect and could not give any real details in the article Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU) program available.
- I asked Microsoft Germany about their press department. They told me, that Cloud Solution Providers (CSP) are responsible as Microsoft Partners to sell ESU licenses and they should offer a price.
- I then asked about a handful of Cloud Solution Providers (CSP) directly or via Microsoft's CSP Partner Portal for prices and purchase options. The balance: Only one directly requested company has ever reported back.
Well, in November 2019 no price list had to be available yet – but on December 2, when the sale starts, that might change? But that wasn't true, the CSP that contacted me, was not able to offer a price due to the fact, that Microsoft didn't provide such figures and conditions.
But I'm not alone was to stupid to find out the details. At askwoody.com Susan Bradley and Amy Babinchakwe tried to do the same. They wrote this article Patch Lady – status report on Windows 7 licenses, where they describes their experiences. And also Ed Bott tried to track it down within an article for ZDNet, as the tweet below shows.
— ZDNet (@ZDNet) December 16, 2019
Ed wrote: The end of Windows 7 support is weeks away. Microsoft says small businesses can pay for extended security updates just like their enterprise cousins. But my experience says they don't really want your money.
A price and an offer from an CSP to buy an ESU license
For the last three weeks, I've been repeatedly asking the German CSP partner Software Express, who had replied to my original request, for prices and ordering details. They tried hard to get things done, but Microsoft left them hanging for a long time regarding prices and concrete ordering information.
Finally the CSP was able to set prices and was able to offer ESU licenses since last week. Due to the above mentioned history I suggested to Software Express to set up a website, where you can find the price, some information about the Windows 7 ESU program and an order form. The vendor have now implemented this and since last Friday this (German) site is online.
The page contains all necessary information, prices and an option to order an Extended Security Update (ESU) license for small and medium businesses (SMBs).
- The Windows 7 ESU license for 2020 costs 61.53 Euro net for Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise. Including VAT, this is € 73.22 in Germany.
- Software Express assured me by telephone on Friday that the licenses can be ordered throughout Germany.
- But they also offer ESU also to Austria and Switzerland – and they told me, that they has other English speaking customers within the European Community (EC) who buy licenses.
The folks at Software Express also offer telephone support. If required, even remote installation support for ESU licenses can be booked at a low price. I think it's a great idea and certainly very helpful for some freelancers and small entrepreneurs (SMBs) who are not so able to do this on their own, to book the full package with installation support.
Please note: I have no business connections to Software Express and I do not benefit from any orders. But at the end of the day, it was the only vendor I asked for that put in a lot of effort and finally made a concrete offer. But the handling is between you and this provider – so I'm not responsible for possible inquiries, complaints and complaints.
Administration of ESU licenses requires a Cloud account
Do you remember my quote above citing Ed Bott, that 'They don't wont your money'? In the meantime it is also clear that the activation and administration of the ESU keys must take place via the Microsoft 365 Admin Center of the end customer. This is another step by Microsoft to force people into the cloud. Those who do not have an account for Microsoft 365/Azure will have to have their activation handled by their service provider.
Addendum: I've outlined the steps to manage an ESU license within the blog post Windows 7: Buy and manage ESU licenses – Part 1.
Wow! Windows 7 get extended support until January 2023
Windows 7 Extended Security Updates buyable from April 2019
Microsoft offers Windows 7 Extended Update Support to SMBs
Prices for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates till 2023
Windows 7: Free Extended Update Support and usage
Windows 7: Office 365 ProPlus Updates till 2023
Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) requirements
Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU) program available
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