[German]ACROS Security offers administrators of systems with Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008/R2 a free trial month for 0patch subscriptions. Here is some information about this offer and also an outline about my plans for the 'Windows 7 Life Extension' project here in the blog.
The Windows 7 Life Extension Project
With the end of support for Windows 7 SP1, I thought about starting something like a 'Windows 7 Life Extension' project, W7LEP for short (things need a sounding name), here in the blog. In other words: I'm intend to blog about possibilities and approaches to keep Windows 7 (and Windows Server 2008/R2) secure in 2020.
My series of articles about Microsoft's ESU program to extend support for Windows 7 SP1 (and Windows Server 2008/R2) in companies is one element of this project. But home users are left out with Windows 7 Home. But they can benefit from the 0patch approach.
What is it about exactly?
As of January 14, 2020, Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008/R2 have reached the planned end of support. Enterprise customers can book the paid ESU program to get security updates until 2023 at the latest. But for small customers, this is only available for Windows 7 SP1 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise. For Windows Server 2008/R2, ESU is only available with volume licenses.
There are some articles about ESU support extension already here in the blog (see the link list at end of article). But not every administrator will buy an ESU license, especially with one Windows Server 2008/R2 installation and no volume license contract.
But there is probably an alternative, which I already described in the blog post Windows 7/Server 2008/R2: 0patch delivers security patches after support ends. The team of ACROS Security is developing so called micro patches allowing the 0patch agent to close vulnerabilities. 0patch has announced that they will provide security fixes for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008/R2 after the end of support for Windows 7/Server 2008.
0patch plans to analyze the ESU updates and information provided by Microsoft to develop its own fixes. As soon as a micro patch is available, it will be distributed to the affected machines via the 0patch agent.
The 0patch subscription models
To get the above mentioned micro patches from 0patch, a user account with the provider is required once. The vendor offers different models for different user groups.
(0patch pricing plan)
Private users and non-profit educational institutions can choose the free offer. Then only find micro patches for really critical vulnerabilities that endanger the entire Windows ecosystem will be delivered.
Business customers, on the other hand, need a subscription for the Pro or Enterprise version and received micro patches for all vulnerabilities fixed by Microsoft in the ESU program. The Pro subscription is with 22.95 euros + VAT very much cheaper than the ESU version from Microsoft, which is now around 100 euros. And for a Windows Server, the administrator may not be able to get an ESU license.
The Enterprise subscription allows early access to functions for the central administration of entire Windows fleets and is intended to provide professional features. You can read more details on the 0patch page.
My planned activities regarding 0patch
For private users, I plan to blog about 0patch and the micro patches here in the blog at occasional base, and when something critical is pending. ACROS Security will also provide me with a test license for Pro – and (if it makes sense to me, I haven't had time to discuss this with them in detail yet) also an Enterprise subscription. So I probably can blog here about their patch agents and the incoming micro patches.
There is a trial month at 0patch
0patch wants for all administrators in the business environment to make the decision easier whether to decide to buy ESU licenses or to rely on the 0patch micro patches.
Deciding between 0patch and Extended Security Updates for your Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 computers? We'll give you a one-month free trial for your entire Windows fleet so you can test us.
If you don't like what you get, you can still go with ESU.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/nDTCAOFrHp
— 0patch (@0patch) January 29, 2020
In the above tweet, the vendor offers a free trial month to secure the entire Windows fleet with 0patch micro patches. Just send a mail to their sales department. If administrators are among the readers here who are toying with the idea of choosing 0patch-Pro instead of ESU, this could be a good opportunity to put it to the test without any costs.
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