In January 2020, Microsoft introduced the end of support for Windows 7 after ten years of service, which left over 200 million devices running Windows 7 unmaintained and unprotected from future security threats. In response, Microsoft announced it would offer Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for Windows 7, giving organizations more time to migrate to Windows 10 securely.
Now, Microsoft is expanding the ESU program to non-enterprise Windows 10 users, including small businesses and home users. Starting on December 8th, 2023, eligible Windows 10 devices can purchase additional security updates for up to three additional years. This move is designed to help users buy more time in migrating to the latest version of Windows 10 and avoid the risk of cyber attacks or data breaches.
What are Extended Security Updates (ESUs)?
Extended Security Updates are security patches and feature updates that Microsoft releases post the End-of-Support (EOS) date of an operating system. EOS is the date until which a product receives security updates and technical support. After EOS, security patches and feature updates are no longer released, leaving users unprotected and exposed to security threats.
How to Get the Extended Security Updates for Windows 10
Small business and home users who want to purchase Extended Security Updates for Windows 10 must be running one of the following editions of Windows 10:
Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Pro Education
Windows 10 Pro for Workstations
Additionally, users must have version 1909 or later of the above Windows 10 editions.
Once eligible, users can purchase the ESUs directly from the Microsoft Store or via a Microsoft partner starting on December 8th, 2021. The cost of ESUs varies depending on the edition of Windows and duration of the subscription.
Why Extended Security Updates are Essential
Cyber attackers often target out-of-support systems as they are easier to compromise since no security patch releases are available. By purchasing Extended Security Updates, small businesses and home users can avoid the risk of cyber attacks and protect their systems from known vulnerabilities.
Additionally, the time and resources required for the migration to the latest version can add up for a small business. Therefore, ESUs offer a feasible and cost-effective alternative for those who require more time to update to the latest version of Windows 10.
In conclusion, the Windows 10 Extended Security Updates program is an excellent opportunity for small businesses and home users to extend their protection and keep their operating systems secure. By investing in ESUs, users can take the time and resources needed to migrate to the latest version of Windows 10 without exposing their systems to known vulnerabilities and cyber attacks.
Microsoft is naturally keen to get users to move to Windows 11, which is finally getting much-needed features like the ability to turn off the News widget. But two years after release, Windows 11 adoption seems to be slower than Windows 10. Microsoft hasn’t published official figures for Windows 11 usage as yet.