Windows 7 support ends today, and Windows 10 is better than ever

Today marks the end of support for Windows 7. Ten years ago, when we first announced Windows 7 and Office 2010, we focused on delivering the best productivity experience of the time. But since then, thanks to breakthrough advancements in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), we’ve been able to build tools to help you take advantage of new forms of productivity. And as the cybersecurity landscape continues to dramatically evolve every day, ten-year-old tech just can’t keep up. With Windows 10, the power of the cloud makes you and your organization more productive and secure than ever. As we end support for Windows 7, I encourage you to transition to these newer options right away.

Transitioning to Windows 10

More than 900 million devices use Windows 10 today. Part of Microsoft 365, Windows 10 uses the power and insights of the cloud to provide Microsoft’s most secure, productive experience to date. And with Windows 10 version 1909 now available, you can enjoy new capabilities and improvements, including intelligent security with Windows Hello, simplified updates, flexible management, and enhanced productivity. Some highlights of version 1909 include the new Windows Search experience in the File Explorer app, the new cloud clipboard with history viewing, support for third-party digital assistants, Microsoft BitLocker key rolling, and additional customizations in kiosk mode.

While every business needs to stay vigilant amid the sophisticated security threats we face today, small and medium businesses (SMB) remain the most vulnerable. As my colleague Brad Anderson detailed in a recent blog post, Microsoft has developed a comprehensive approach to helping your SMB stay secure. One key takeaway: moving to Windows 10 is an important first step.

Now, for those enterprise and SMB customers who haven’t yet had the opportunity to move to Windows 10, we do have ways to help you stay secure during the transition. For those who need it, we have Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) available through our cloud solution provider partners and volume licensing. Under the ESU program, we will provide security updates for critical and important issues as defined by Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC). But between you and me, this option is only a bandage. In order to get the best protection and security features of Windows Defender Antivirus and the full potential of Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), I strongly urge you to migrate to Windows 10 as soon as possible.

If virtualization is an option for you, Windows Virtual Desktop offers extended security updates for your Windows 7 virtual desktop at no extra cost to you, ensuring support for legacy apps while you move to Windows 10. And if you have application compatibility concerns, the Desktop App Assure service provides resources to help you remediate compatibility issues with Windows 10, Office 365, Microsoft Edge, and Windows Virtual Desktop. In fact, more than 99 percent of apps that worked on Windows 7 will be compatible with Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus.

While Windows 7 is no longer supported, we’ll continue to provide security updates for Office 365 ProPlus running on Windows 7 devices through January 2023. However, as long as their devices remain on Windows 7, Office 365 ProPlus customers will not receive new features updates. For the support dates for different versions of Office on Windows 7, see the Office system requirements matrix.

And if you’re a consumer customer, you can find more information about Windows 7 end of support on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Greater productivity with Office 365 ProPlus

Powered by the cloud, Office 365 ProPlus is the future of Office. As I shared in a post this past October, users who still haven’t transitioned to it are missing out on essential productivity features critical to competing in today’s marketplace. I encourage you to get current today with Office 365 ProPlus, which will only improve with time as we continue innovating across, and investing in, the experience.

So, what’s my elevator pitch for Office 365 ProPlus? Three things stand out: First, AI and machine learning advance creativity and innovation in everything from PowerPoint design to Excel analysis. Second, the cloud enables real-time collaboration across apps and enables Microsoft Teams to be the hub for teamwork. Then finally, built-in, cloud-powered security protects your data and provides the peace of mind that comes with knowing your business will not only be productive, but also secure.

Once support for Office 2010 ends later this year—October 13, 2020 to be exact—we’ll no longer provide security updates or technical support for Office 2010. So, make sure your users have a highly secure Office experience with Office 365 ProPlus.

We designed several resources to help you to make the move to Office 365 ProPlus, such as:

  • The Readiness Toolkit for Office, which can help you identify compatibility issues with your Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros and add-ins that you use with Office. It includes the Readiness Report Creator, which creates an Excel report with VBA macro compatibility and add-in readiness information to help your organization assess its readiness to move to Office 365 ProPlus.
  • The Office cloud policy service, which helps administrators manage policies for all Office 365 ProPlus users and their devices, even if the device isn’t domain joined or otherwise managed. The Office cloud policy service is a cloud-based portal that allows administrators to define policies for Office 365 ProPlus and assign these policies to users via Azure Active Directory security groups. Once defined, these Office policy settings roam to whichever device the Office 365 ProPlus user signs in to and uses.
  • The Microsoft 365 Deployment Center, which provides the latest and most up-to-date deployment and servicing guidance to upgrade to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus.

Customers who need more time to move to Office in the cloud can opt for Office 2019, the on-premises version of Office. See this matrix for just some of the feature innovations we’ve made since Office 2010.

In a time of constant change, transitioning to new tools can be daunting. But we want to help you embrace that change with tools built to evolve and improve over time. With Microsoft 365—Windows 10, and Office 365 ProPlus included—every time your users turn on their devices, they’ll get a highly productive and secure experience. Meanwhile, IT professionals will find these tools so much easier to deploy and manage. I see the end of support for Windows 7 and Office 2010 as an opportunity for you to transition to tools designed for the way we work today. So, if you haven’t already, make the move now. We’re here with you every step of the way.

Note that today also marks the end of support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. To learn about your options, visit the Windows Server blog.