Overview

Here we are again, another Microsoft operating system being put out to pasture. While Windows 7 is being retired, memories of WannaCry will always remain.  Microsoft has remained true to their commitment of ten years of product support for Windows 7 from when it was released on October 22, 2009.  After January 14, 2020, Windows 7 endpoints will no longer receive security updates.  It is important that you address this impact to your organization with your main option being to upgrade to the more modern Windows 10 operating system. Here are your options:

  • Customers with Enterprise Agreements (EA) or Enterprise Subscription Agreements (EAS) with active subscriptions to Windows 10 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 and Microsoft 365 E5 Security via a special promotion running from June 1,,2019, to December 31,, 2019, can opt for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) for a year at no charge. Restrictions apply.
  • Microsoft offers Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 7 for three years post EOS (fee-based).
  • Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 or bare metal deploy Windows 10. Have you considered BigFix for this upgrade?

 

Extending Service for Windows 7

Perhaps you have specific needs to retain Windows 7 for a while longer or perhaps you do not have the resources to migrate all your Windows 7 endpoints to Windows 10 by mid-January. In that case, Microsoft will gladly provide you Extended Security Updates for Windows 7. Here are the costs you should anticipate:

  • Year one: $25 per device for Windows 7 Enterprise, $50 for Windows 7 Professional
  • Year two: $50 per device for Windows 7 Enterprise, $100 for Windows 7 Professional
  • Year three: $100 per device for Windows 7 Enterprise, $200 for Windows 7 Professional

By using BigFix, you can accelerating the migration to Windows 10 to meet the January 14, 2020, deadline. By not paying for ESU for Windows 7, you can apply those savings to the purchase of BigFix.

Upgrade to Windows 10 using BigFix

BigFix offers several capabilities to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10:

Bare metal reimaging – Generally used to build new PC’s out of the box, this process gives you the ability to build a fat image or layered approach of delivery using BigFix. This reimaging process is hardware independent, injecting the appropriate drivers during the imaging process. The main caveat with this scenario for existing systems is the need to back up user data and reinstall any apps not on the image. It also requires the endpoint to boot to network or use deployment media to launch the process.

Reimage in place – Usually reimaging in place is great for PC software issues by restoring the PC to a working state. With BigFix, you can reimage the Windows 7 machine over the wire utilizing the BigFix agent to download and stage the Windows 10 image and required resources. This can be scheduled and can be made as an offer to the end user to run at their convenience, with a deadline of course.  Reimaging in place with BigFix can even be done across the internet! For user data retention, BigFix can capture the user profile via the Microsoft USMT utility and can restore that profile post upgrade. You will not have to reinstall apps on the reimage unless you identify non-compatible apps in your initial testing.

In-Place Upgrade – This process runs a silent install of Windows 10, upgrading the machine from Windows 7.  An in-place upgrade will keep the applications and user profiles as part of the upgrade process. You will need to identify driver and application incompatibilities as with the previous scenarios before the upgrade. This is perhaps the most efficient way to upgrade to Windows 10, and incidentally, this process can also be used to upgrade Windows 10 builds, and not just for Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrades.  By reimaging in place, the upgrade can also be scheduled to launch at a certain time on the endpoint or even offered as an option to the end user to self-deploy.

Remember the fee based Extended Security Updates (ESU) mentioned earlier? Microsoft will offer those for up to three years, until January 2023.  You will need to sign a contract with Microsoft for access to ESU content. If you choose to contract for ESUs, BigFix can help you there too. HCL offers BigFix customers who have a contract for ESU content a fee based service for BigFix where HCL will write the Fixlet (patch content) for the ESU patches.

BigFix has you covered regardless of your ability to meet the January deadline or maintain Windows 7 in your environment. 

If you act soon, BigFix can indeed accelerate your efforts to meet that January deadline and avoid paying for Microsoft’s Extended Support Updates. Perhaps the cost avoidance is all you need to justify adopting BigFix for your organization. BigFix Operating System Deployment is bundled with BigFix Lifecycle  which includes BigFix Patch, Software Distribution, Remote Control, Server Automation, Asset Discovery, Power Management and more. How many of those tools do you currently lack or could possibly replace with a platform like BigFix?

For more information

Visit www.bigfix.com and schedule a demo or download trial software, or contact your BigFix Specialist or business partner.

Further Reading