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When is the End of Support for Windows 7?

Support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020.

What does end of support mean?

Microsoft Lifecycle Policy offers five years of Mainstream Support. Depending on the product, it also offers a period of Extended Support. For Windows operating systems, the Extended Support period is five years.

As defined in the policy, after the Extended Support period for a product ends, Microsoft no longer publishes updates or security updates for that product. This may create security and compliance issues and expose an organisation's applications and business to serious security risks. Learn more at Microsoft Lifecycle Policy.

What is the recommended upgrade path for Windows 7 users?

Recommended path: Enroll in Microsoft 365 or upgrade directly to the latest version of Windows 10. If you experience any application compatibility issues after you update to Windows 10, go to Desktop App Assure for assistance.  

Fallback path: Enroll in Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure. After you enroll, you can get free Extended Security Updates to protect on-premises servers and desktops for three more years.

Last resort path: Buy Extended Security Updates to protect on-premises servers and desktops for three more years.

If an organisation cannot transition from Windows 7 before the end of support deadline, what are its options?

To help organisations protect data and applications during the end of support transition, especially those that cannot complete the transition before the end-of-support date, we offer the following options:

  • Windows Virtual Desktop. An appropriate option for organisations that can use a virtualization solution. Windows Virtual Desktop is the only cloud-based service that delivers a multi-user Windows 10 experience and is optimized for Office 365 ProPlus. This option includes free Windows 7 ESU.
  • Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU). A last-resort option. organisations can purchase Windows 7 ESU separately. ESU are also available for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008, and SQL Server 2008 R2. ESU are not available for Office 2010.
What offers are available for organisations that are affected by the end of support for Windows 7?

To help reduce security risks and continue to get regular security updates, we recommend that you upgrade to the latest versions of our software in the cloud.

  • If your organisation has access to cloud transition SKUs or Software Assurance (SA), talk to your account manager about your transition path. The Microsoft FastTrack program includes a large portfolio of deployment offers and tools that can help you reduce the time and cost that you require to upgrade. This portfolio includes remediation services such as Desktop App assure, Desktop Analytics, and others.
  • If your organisation does not have access to programs such as SA, talk to your account manager or Microsoft Partner about finding licensing offers that meet your needs.
What is Windows Virtual Desktop?

Windows Virtual Desktop is a cloud-based service that is delivered on Azure. It is the best virtualised Windows and Office experience. It delivers a multi-user Windows 10 experience that is optimized for Office 365 ProPlus. For customers who are upgrading from Windows 7, Windows Virtual Desktop includes free Windows 7 ESU through 2023. You can use Windows Virtual Desktop to deploy and scale Windows and Office on Azure in minutes, including appropriate security and compliance measures.

When is Windows Virtual Desktop an appropriate solution?

Windows Virtual Desktop is an appropriate option for organisations that can use a virtualization solution and that cannot finish upgrading from Windows 7 before the end of support date. Windows Virtual Desktop delivers a multi-user Windows 10 experience that is optimized for Office 365 ProPlus. For customers who are upgrading from Windows 7, Windows Virtual Desktop includes free Windows 7 ESU through 2023.

Where can I find information about the end of support for Windows Server 2008 or Windows 2008 R2?

Support for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 ends on January 14, 2020. Learn more here

What happens to Windows 7 virtual machines (VMs) that are hosted on Azure after January 2023? Will Microsoft remove them?

organisations that have Windows 7 VMs in Azure will continue to have access to those VMs after January 2023. Microsoft will not delete those VMs or block access to them. However, Microsoft will stop maintaining those VMs through updates. Therefore, the affected VMs will quickly fall out of compliance.

If an organisation experiences an issue that requires a new feature, what support can the organisation expect?

We will investigate the issue. If the issue can be resolved by a product enhancement that is available in a recent release, we recommend that the organisation upgrade to that release (or a later release).

What tools and programs are available for organisations that have application compatibility concerns in moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10?


Windows Autopilot simplifies the process of deploying new Windows 10 devices by providing an alternative to creating, maintaining, and loading custom images. Windows Autopilot lets you new off-the-shelf Windows 10 devices directly to your users. Through a few simple clicks, the device transforms into a fully business-ready state, dramatically reducing the time required to get users up and running on new devices. For more information, see Simplifying IT with the latest updates from Windows Autopilot.

Desktop Analytics is a cloud-based service that integrates with Configuration Manager. The service provides insight and intelligence for you to make more informed decisions about the update readiness of your Windows clients. It combines data from your organisation with data aggregated from millions of devices connected to Microsoft cloud services. for more information, see What is Desktop Analytics?.

FastTrack deployment guidance for Windows 10 helps you to envision a technical plan, determine how to onboard and deploy new services and users, and provides support as you deploy to get the most value out of your technology investments. This assistance is available at no additional cost for those who have 150 or more licenses of an eligible service or plan. For more information, see FastTrack Center Benefit for Windows 10.

Desktop App Assure service from FastTrack is a new service from Microsoft FastTrack that is designed to address app compatibility issues for Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus. If you find any app compatibility issues after an Office 365 ProPlus or Windows 10 update (including issues that concern Macros and Add-Ins), Desktop App Assure helps you get a fix. Simply let us know by filing a Fastrack ticket, and a Microsoft engineer will follow up to work with you until the issue is resolved.

Ready for Microsoft 365: The Ready for Microsoft 365 directory lists software solutions that are supported and in use on commercial devices running Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus. The directory is intended for IT managers at companies and organisations worldwide who are considering the latest versions of Windows 10 and Office 365 for their deployments.

What happens if I use Office 365 ProPlus on Windows 7?

After January 2020, if you use Office 365 ProPlus on a Windows 7-based computer, Office 365 ProPlus will not receive any new feature updates. However, to provide some more time to make the transition to Windows 10 or other supported Windows operating system, Office 365 ProPlus will receive security updates through 2023.

Windows 7 ESU will have no effect on support for Office 365 ProPlus on Windows 7. Office 365 is governed by the Modern Lifecycle Policy that requires organisations to stay current per the servicing and system requirements for the product or service. These requirements include using Office 365 ProPlus on a Windows operating system that is currently in support.

We strongly advise against using Office 365 ProPlus on Windows 7. Using a modern cloud-backed client on an older, unsupported operating system may, over time, cause performance and reliability issues. Learn more about the relationship between Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 7 end of support.

Why did some users in my organisation receive a notification about Windows 7?

As the end of Windows 7 support approaches, Windows 7 customers are receiving notifications to make sure that they have plenty of time to get ready.

We designed these notifications so that they would not appear on devices in managed organisations. More specifically, notifications are designed to exclude devices that have the following characteristics:

  • Devices that run Enterprise or Server editions of Windows 7
  • Devices that run any edition of Windows 7 from a Volume Licensing program
  • Domain-joined devices
  • Devices that operate in kiosk mode
  • Devices on which registry settings restrict free upgrade notifications

Any devices in your organisation that are not covered by the listed criteria show a notification. For more information about notifications, see Windows 7 support will end on January 14, 2020.

ref: https://support.microsoft.com/en-nz/help/4527875/faq-about-the-end-of-support-for-windows-7

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