Concerned about the future of your Win7 machine? Welcome to the family.
At the moment we have a promise that Microsoft will fix the problem “Stretch” wallpaper bug It was introduced last month and there is hope that it will fix the Internet Explorer JScript engine CVE-2020-0674 vulnerability that was noted in Security Advisory ADV200001 last month. We don’t know how / when the fixes will be distributed or whether Microsoft will otherwise mitigate the edict “No free Win7 patches after January 14th”.
That being said, Win7 customers are on their own – you either pay for a year of extended support, have your computer locked and pray for Microsoft’s generosity, or just throw away the old doorstop.
Gregg Keizer in December wrote about the alternative – Buy an Extended Security Update license from a cloud service provider. Just a little problem: CSPs are not set up to sell licenses in pairs. It is a manually intensive process that simply does not pay off.
A CSP that I know has risen to the occasion and offers to obtain licenses for small businesses, even for businesses with only one PC. Amy Babinchak, owner of Harbor Computer Services, puts it this way: “We want to make it as easy as possible for as many companies as possible to continue to receive Windows 7 patches. It is a manual process. So expect some delays. However, we will do our best to provide each computer with a valid Win7 Pro or Ultimate license that is integrated into the Extended Security Update system. “
Patch Lady Susan Bradley has followed the process closely and offers these tips::
- You must have a valid Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate license. No pirated copies allowed.
- If you have an unused Win7 Pro key but are still running Win7 Home, you can still use Windows Anytime Upgrade to switch from Home to Pro. (Click Start and type Anytime Upgrade. When you get to the screen asking if you have a key, enter it. Be patient. The upgrade may take HOURS depending on the speed of your computer Activate the key in the system area after restarting the PC.)
- The free upgrade from Win7 to 10 still works. Is it legal? Probably not. But Microsoft completely ignores this and has the machines activated.
- Can you still buy a Win7 license if you don’t have a new one? Yes, but man, it’s hard to make sure you buy it online from a reputable place. Everything looks a bit fraudulent to me. And don’t buy it from an eBay seller. There are some on Amazon that look fine and not too fraudulent, but be careful. If it’s too good to be true or too cheap to be a real license, it probably isn’t.
If your system is capable of it and you don’t mind parting with around $ 70, you can fill it out Harbor Computer Services license request and payment formand swirl it. As Bradley notes:
A flawless Win7 computer should have no problem installing and activating the ESU key. Not so healthy … You may have to manually install missing updates and run the Windows Update troubleshooter to get it in a healthy state.
The first enhanced security update should arrive next Tuesday, although we don’t have an official announcement yet. Now would be a good time to fill out the form if you want to keep your “real” Win7 Pro or Ultimate machine officially patched.