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Businesses may be able to extend Windows 7 security updates for free for one year

Windows 7 is quickly approaching its end-of-support date, which is January 14 of next year. That means that regular users still using the ten-year-old operating system will no longer get any kind of security updates, though businesses can extend support for up to three years if they're willing to pay for it. While the pricing for extended support was revealed a few months ago, it was recently discovered that Microsoft is running a promotion that lets some businesses extend support for free, for one year.

Details of the promotion were originally discovered by Computerworld (via ZDNet) in Microsoft's support documentation. The document states that businesses that have an active Windows 10 E5, Microsoft 365 E5, or Microsoft 365 E5 Security subscription as of December 31, 2019 are automatically entitled to an additional year of security updates for Windows 7. The promotion is valid for any subscription that's active as of that date, and though the promotion technically started on June 1, it doesn't matter when the subscription started.

Users don't need to do anything else to be entitled to the free security updates, but the subscription that granted them the free updates needs to remain active throughout the entire extended support period in order for updates to continue being delivered.

If you don't have one of the qualifying subscriptions, you'll need to pay at least $25 a year for each machine running Windows 7, with the amount doubling each year for the next three years. Or, if you sign up for Windows Virtual Desktop, you can get the full three years of security updates for free.

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