[This column was originally appear in December 2019. It was decidedly adapted and republished January 6, 2020, with acquaintance advice for CSPs that can advice baby businesses admission ESU licenses.]
Support for Windows 7 ends in aloof a few days. After Jan. 14, 2020, Microsoft will no best accommodate chargeless aegis updates and bug fixes for the admirable operating arrangement to the accustomed public.
Those updates will be available, however, to Microsoft barter who are accommodating to pay for the privilege. The Windows 7 Connected Aegis Update (ESU) affairs runs for an added three years, through January 2023, and it’s been clearly accessible back Dec. 2, 2019.
When Microsoft aboriginal appear the Windows 7 ESU program, in September 2018, the aggregation said these updates would be accessible to its best admired customers: Giant corporations and government agencies with aggregate licensing subscriptions and medium-sized businesses and educational institutions with Windows 10 Enterprise or Education subscriptions.
Then, in October 2019, Microsoft connected the affairs to businesses of all sizes. If you run a baby business (even a sole proprietorship) and you appetite to accumulate application Windows 7, that should be acceptable news. But as I abstruse this week, Microsoft doesn’t assume decidedly absorbed in demography your money if your business is too small.
Anyone who administers Windows PCs in a ample alignment with an alive aggregate licensing arrangement has it easy. They can arrange ESU to Windows 7 accessories by downloading a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) from the Aggregate Licensing Service Center and again installing a few application assemblage updates and application a command-line apparatus to annals the new key.
Businesses that aren’t big abundant for a aggregate licensing contract, however, are not so lucky: Microsoft says you baby fry accept to acquirement Windows 7 ESUs through one of its ally in the Billow Solution Provider (CSP) program. Sounds easy, right?
In December 2019, a ages afore the end-of-support date, I went in chase of Windows 7 ESUs, addition it would be a simple assignment and I could allotment the step-by-step action here. I apparent that unless you already accept a accord with a affable CSP, the action is far added difficult than it should be.
My starting point was the aforementioned one Microsoft expects you to use if you’re absorbed in the ESU option, the comprehensive, official Microsoft FAQ about Connected Aegis Updates for Windows 7. There, you’ll acquisition this Q&A:
Who should I acquaintance for added advice about appraisement and acclimation for Windows 7 ESU?
VL customers: Amuse acquaintance your Annual Team CE for appraisement and acclimation advice that is tailored to specific chump scenarios.
Customers who are absorbed in purchasing Windows 7 ESU in CSP should ability out to a CSP partner. You can acquisition a able partner at this site.
That articulation takes you to the Microsoft Solution Providers database. I abounding in the three blanks, allegorical my business area (US) and admeasurement (one to nine employees). But the final field, which asks for “products, services, skills, industries, or organizations,” is a stumper. I acclimatized on “Cloud Solution Provider,” which alternate eight results.
After reviewing the abridged description for anniversary provider, I wasn’t encouraged. All the recommended firms were ample consultancies with broad-based skillsets, targeting companies that will pay them big bucks to do medium- and all-embracing deployment and development tasks. None of them seemed like the blazon of close that would be absorbed in a onesy-twosy authorization accord with a actual baby business.
I chose the best of three providers, entered a description of what I was attractive for, provided acquaintance information, and clicked the Accelerate button.
Within 15 minutes, I had a response. Unfortunately, it wasn’t absolutely what I was hoping. The No. 1 provider on my list, the one Microsoft had assured me, was the best bout for my request, was “unavailable.”
Twelve hours later, I got addition message, answer that my second-best bout was additionally “unavailable.”
A day later, I got an auspicious apprehension that my appeal had been accustomed by the third partner. They had my acquaintance information, but about three weeks later, no one from that close has followed up with me. For those befitting score, that’s three strikes.
Meanwhile, I contacted the two companies with whom I already accept an accustomed reseller accord and asked if they could help. Both are CSPs, but neither one was accommodating or able to assist. One said, “Sorry, no.” The added seemed addled but anesthetized the appeal forth to addition who ability accept added abundant artefact knowledge. A few hours later, I got this reply:
Unfortunately, you would charge to ability out to a reseller to acquirement this license. We’re not able to advertise to an end user directly.
Another reseller that I contacted accepted that book exactly, acknowledging to my appeal with this note:
We accustomed your bulletin apropos Windows 7.
We are Billow Solution Provider and alone accommodate licenses for barter who accept a bartering account.
If you are absorbed in acceptable a bartering chump of Microsoft amuse let us know.
A clairvoyant who works in IT abutment for a acclaimed educational academy contacted me to allotment his experience. He acclimated Microsoft’s acquaintance form, aloof as I did, and was able to acquisition alone one accomplice accommodating to help, but that accomplice appropriate a minimum adjustment of 25 licenses, at a amount of added than $1500, aloof to activate a conversation.
That’s an abominable lot of hoops to jump through to buy a distinct artefact key that’s acceptable for a year and doesn’t crave any deployment or support. What’s abnormally afflictive is that Microsoft connected ago accustomed barter to skip all those accomplice hoops and buy Office 365, Microsoft 365, and added cloud-based casework anon from the Office 365 portal.
I accept I could accumulate trying, but I’m not action optimistic; instead, I’m aghast that Microsoft has called to accomplish this advantage so difficult. I’ve formed with Microsoft’s billow ally before, and it’s not a simple point-click-pay-activate process. Instead, you accept to set up an Azure Alive Directory tenant, actualize a reseller accord with a accomplice to accord them admission to your Azure AD portal, and again accept them ample your order.
Also: The PC was declared to die a decade ago. Instead, this happened
It’s about like Microsoft wants bodies to become beat and accord up.
It doesn’t accept to be this way. Microsoft has been confined pop-up notifications about the Windows 7 end-of-support borderline for several months now. After abutment clearly expires on Jan. 14, 2020, Microsoft is action to alpha carrying a full-screen admonishing to PCs that are still alive Windows 7.
You would anticipate that any of these pop-ups would be an ideal befalling to advice diehard Windows 7 admirers admission those paid updates. Aloof add one added option: “Pay for connected aegis updates.” Accord bodies the accepted acute warnings about how it’s a blocked and Windows 10 is added secure. Accomplish them bang through an active acknowledged waiver. Hell, crave that they upload a video of themselves captivation today’s bi-weekly to prove they’re serious. But if they appetite those updates, Microsoft, booty their money.
Update, January 6, 2020: After publishing the aboriginal adaptation of this article, I heard from two Billow Solution Providers that focus on baby businesses and said they’re accommodating to assist, alike admitting this is a money-losing hypothesis for them.
Alex Stanton, Managing Accomplice of Exbabylon IT Solutions, acclaimed that Microsoft didn’t accommodate capacity of this program, including pricing, to its CSP ally until December 1st, the day afore it went alive to the public, and there’s “no allurement for CSPs to advance this because it won’t be a moneymaker for them.”
Stanton says that the companies who charge ESUs the best are those with 50 advisers who accept specialized accessories like a CNC milling apparatus or a medical accessory that they can’t allow to unplug. “If a chump is not a acceptable fit, we will acquisition a acceptable fit for them,” he told me. But, he continued, “We appetite to apprehend that chump say, ‘We are alive with the [equipment] bell-ringer on advancement options. There’s a accurate business acumen for this.'”
I additionally heard from Amy Babinchak, President of Harbor Computer Services, a CSP that specializes in “giving baby businesses admission to affection IT services.” If you’re a baby business attractive for an ESU license, you can accommodate your acquaintance capacity via this online form. Babinchak addendum that her close is accommodating to advice baby businesses but can’t accommodate casework for added IT firms. “We are not authoritative money from these transactions,” she told me. “I’m because it artlessly a association action and the appropriate affair to do.”
Finally, Dave Joss of DGJ Network Solutions accomplished out to say “We are a Microsoft CSP and will be blessed to get these licenses for baby businesses.” You can acquaintance the close at (469) 675-0989.
if you’re the buyer of a CSP and you’re accommodating to advice out baby businesses who are attractive for ESU licenses, hit the acquaintance anatomy (the email figure abutting to my by-line at the top of this article) and accelerate me a bulletin and I will add you to this list.
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