Free Extended Support for Windows 7 ended in January 2020 to encourage users and organizations to migrate to newer versions of the Windows family of operating systems. However, Microsoft corporate customers were not ready for this event, so the company decided to continue supporting Windows 7, but on a paid basis.
It was originally planned that paid extended support would be provided for three years, that is, until January 2023. Customers who have purchased a license for Windows 7 ESU (Extended Security Updates) continue to receive monthly security updates that fix various security vulnerabilities.
But it seems that the story does not end there, and Microsoft intends to extend paid support for WIndows 7 for another three years. Deskmodder reports that the July updates KB5015861 and KB5015862 include all the necessary licenses and ESU keys needed to continue paid support for the system. If support is still extended, then paid updates for Windows 7 will be released until January 2026.
Note that updates for Windows 7 under the Extended Security Updates program are released for the following products:
- Windows 7 SP1 Enterprise
- Windows 7 SP1 Pro
- Windows Server 2008 R2
- Windows Embedded Standard 7
- Windows Embedded POS Ready 7
Microsoft has neither confirmed nor denied the Windows 7 ESU renewal program. And such a decision seems logical, since this operating system still occupies a significant market share. According to Statcounter, Windows 7 is now used on 11.54% of devices, while the latest Windows 11 is installed on 10.96% of computers.
It’s funny, but if support for Windows 7 is indeed extended for another 3 years, then this operating system will be supported longer than its successors in the face of Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Microsoft has already confirmed that a similar program for Windows 8.1 will not be launched.