Microsoft announcement: WaaS and Windows 7

There was a very significant announcement that was made public today.

Summary of announcement:

  1. Longer Windows 10 servicing for enterprises and educational institutions moving from 18 month cycle to  a 30 month cycle. (per version)
  2. Windows 7 Extended Security Updates:  Microsoft will offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023.
    1. Not sure about the price yet, but this option essentially extends the support deadline for Windows 7 by 3 years provides organizations with three additional years of security updates.  The paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) will be sold on a per-device basis, with the price increasing each year.
  3. Introduction of Desktop Analytics service which will provide insight and intelligence to make more informed decisions about the update readiness of your Windows and Office clients.
  4. Introdution of Desktop App Assurea new service from Microsoft FastTrack designed to address issues with Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus app compatibility

You can read up on it here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2018/09/06/helping-customers-shift-to-a-modern-desktop/

 

The new   Windows Servicing cadence is summarized in the following chart:

The new dates follow: 

 

Initial Thoughts and Comments:

Overall, this is a good thing for enterprise customers who are early or have not yet started their migration efforts (yes there are many!) or have been challenged with the twice per year, 18 month per version support-cycle.

It was generally expected that Microsoft would introduce a “paid” way to extend (for a limited time) the life of Windows 7. They did this for XP, and it was expensive back then. What was not expected, was an 30 month lifecycle change for the September release.

Although it was not a change of strategy, it is a significant change of pace. For partners, consultants and evangelists this is a challenging message, as some of us have been telling the story and helping customer for over 3 years.

Essentially, Microsoft has listened to their largest customers and are now allowing organizations that much needed time to enabling organizations to drive modernization, to stay current, secure, modernize their applications, to change mindset and get /stay current.

I think this move will enable us all to focus on the reasons and value for moving to Windows 10 and keeping Windows 10 current:

  • Modern Security
  • Simplified Deployment and  Management
  • Hardware availability/compatibility

Workspace Transformation (moving to Modern Management) is not a trivial process. It takes time to change 25 years of history and processes.

More thoughts/ideas next week!

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