Microsoft lets companies pay for Windows 7 support until 2023

It's trying to avoid a repeat of Windows XP's seemingly endless lifecycle.

Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

Microsoft must still be scarred by having to support Windows XP well past its expiry date, as it's drawing a line in the sand for Windows 7 users. Corporate and institutional customers can only pay for extended security update support through January 2023, or about three years after Microsoft stops providing regular patches. On top of this, the price will increase every year between 2020 and 2023 -- the longer a company clings to the past, the costlier it gets.

That may sound like a long time when Windows 7 launched way back in 2009. However, it's important to remember that Microsoft only ended extended support for Windows XP in 2014, and kept paid support going sometime after that. This is a comparatively early end, and Microsoft isn't shy about encouraging customers to upgrade sooner than 2023.

As you might suspect, Microsoft is hoping to improve Windows 10 sales. It's not just a matter of trying to boost quarterly numbers, though. Windows XP's extra-long lifespan created serious problems for the PC industry at large when business customers were reluctant to upgrade. It even created security issues when Microsoft had to make a support exception to patch XP systems against WannaCry. The sooner Microsoft can convince everyone to join the modern era, the sooner it can relax.