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Windows 7 ESU Explained April 2019 Update

Today is April 8, 2019, and with 280 calendar days ( less than 195 working days)  away from the Windows 7 End of Support deadline, many organizations are realizing that they need  a strategy in place for those devices that, for whatever the reason is, are not going to make the cut to Windows 10.

Back in September 2018, I wrote about the announcement that Microsoft would be providing a Windows 7 Extended Support Update service for eligible devices beyond  January 14, 2020.  Microsoft has been quite about this offer until just now, when they are providing further details about their offers and “eligible devices” ..

Windows 7 ESU SKUs will be made available on the April 2019 pricelist for EA, EAS, and EES agreements. All Windows 7 ESU SKUs are sold per device. There are two versions of the offer: Windows 7 ESU, and Windows 7 ESU for M365. “For M365” SKUs are only available for devices covered by SA or used exclusively by users licensed with Windows Enterprise or M365 SLs.

Windows 7 goes out of support on January 14th, 2020. The Windows 7 ESU 2020 SKU is a one-time purchase and covers devices from Jan 15, 2020 – Jan 14, 2021, regardless of the purchase date. After purchasing, customers will receive MAK (keys) to activate their Windows environments for ESU. For more licensing details, please see a preview (subject to change) of the April 2019 Product Terms for Windows 7 ESU below:

Windows 7 ESU (Extended Security Updates)

Customer may acquire Windows 7 ESU licenses on a per device basis. Devices running a local OSE covered by ESU or accessing virtual OSEs covered by ESU must be licensed with Windows 7 ESU for the respective year of coverage. Devices do not need an ESU license to access Windows 7 OSEs covered by ESU running on Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure. Windows 7 ESU 2020/2021/2022 for M365 licenses may only be assigned to devices with active Software Assurance or used exclusively by users with Windows Enterprise or M365 SLs. Windows 7 ESU 2020/2021/2022 licenses may be assigned to any device. Windows 7 ESU 2021 & 2022 and Windows 7 ESU 2021 & 2022 for M365 licenses may only be assigned to devices also licensed with ESU(s) for the prior year(s).

Lastly, keep in mind that our preference is for all customers to upgrade to Windows 10 so they can enjoy all the security and productivity benefits of a modern desktop. The ESU SKU is a last resort for customers unable to upgrade to Windows 10.


            • Windows 7 ESU 2020 $50
            • Windows 7 ESU 2020 for M365 $25


Summary: What does this all mean?

If you have Your status
Microsoft 365 License You can pay $25 / per device. 
Devices covered under Software Assurance Benefit You can pay $25 / per device.
Purchase devices with Windows 10 OEM without SA  You are not eligible.

How do I get Windows 10 OEM only devices into an SA?

Please contact your Microsoft Rep   or connect with one of my employers software licensing expert for more information.