Windows 7 End-of-Support & Licensing Options

April 26, 2019

As you may already know, Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Depending on which survey you read, there are currently still about as many Windows 7 systems deployed in business as there are Windows 10. (Studies that show Windows 10 ahead by a wide margin typically include home-user systems.) Business software conditions often lag the leading edge due to stability and cost concerns. Fortunately, both Microsoft and Foreground, a Microsoft Partner, have your back. There are some exciting opportunities we’d like to make you aware of.

Foreground Offers SPLA Licensing

A Service Provider Licensing Agreement is what allows cloud computing companies like Amazon and Google to offer servers to rent by the minute/hour/month/etc with the operating system license included. Foreground is now able to offer the same licensing for our on-site/private cloud customers, and on the public cloud. We already have projects in progress that will leverage this opportunity, but one of the most interesting things about SPLA is that it gives us the ability to extend near infinite “downgrade” licensing beyond what is available via retail. So, if you have an old business system that must run on an older server operating system, we can provide licensing for it so you not only stay in compliance with Microsoft, but can even grow your user count until you decide which upgrade path is right for you. (Keep in mind, these older systems may still not get security patches, but that’s a technical detail we can help you work through.)

Microsoft’s Shift Campaign

Until the end of May, new or existing customers that sign up for one of our Managed Services packages that include Microsoft 365 Business or Enterprise, get upgrade rights to Windows 10 Business or Enterprise from any Windows Pro version 7 or later. In other words, for not much more than you’re perhaps paying for email hosting and Office software, you get a free upgrade, and access to a host of other services that make the shift to a modern desktop experience so much easier.

To take advantage of this, enrollment must happen before the end of May, so if you’re interested, make sure to contact us early, so we can help you figure out the right service level for your needs.

Server 2008 R2 Extended Support for Free

While the End of Service for Windows 7 gets all the press, Windows Server 2008 R2, which is the server OS companion to Windows 7, is also EoS on January 14, 2020. But, there’s hope! Bottom line is: workloads based on Windows Server 2008 R2, if moved to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud hosting platform, Microsoft is including extended support at no extra cost. That means that those servers will continue to get critical and security updates until 2023.

I.T. Hat Trick

So, how can the above benefit your business? Here’s one example that deals with legacy software:

  • Move your older business system to Azure, and benefit from the free Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 R2
  • We provide SPLA licenses for those 2008 R2 servers enabling Remote Desktop users
  • Shift your workstations to a modern desktop experience with Microsoft 365

Modern systems can benefit from these options as well. For example, if you need to upgrade SQL Server (often costing $20,000+), but your Software Assurance from Microsoft has expired, SPLA licensing is an affordable monthly option. Similarly, if you have Internet-restricted shop-floor workstations, SPLA licenses of MS Office don’t need to “call home” over the Internet for validation unlike Office 365.

Let’s talk if you have any questions!

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