Windows 7 Receives Support Extension Through Virtualization

WVD is now entering the final development phase leading to general availability, Microsoft has announced on Twitter. The company has not made any announcement as to when this first version of the software will be generally available. Testers can already start using it again, which can then be done in virtual machines.

Tests and bugs (fixes)

Microsoft asks testers to give their feedback, to catch and fix bugs in WVD early. During the development of Windows 10, several bugs have escaped the attention of Microsoft’s developers over the last few major releases. This is despite the fact that some of those errors were already discovered and reported by testers (the so-called Windows Insiders). Various problems, including data loss, were then discovered in practice by ordinary users.

The problems with Windows 10, combined with the relatively high update rate, prevent some organizations from upgrading from previous Windows versions. The bugs plus the half-yearly release of major new releases are in addition to the regular effort that an operating system migration requires. Version 8 (and the major renovation 8.1), which has never been a big hit, is still little in use, but predecessor Windows 7 enjoys relatively much use. However, the support deadline for the spiritual successor of the popular Windows XP is fast approaching.

Three-year delay

At least, Microsoft is now making an exception for that. The software supplier does this through WVD, which has been a public preview since March. Users can use it to virtualize apps, for Windows 10 but also for the classic predecessor 7 and even that older operating system itself. The virtualized environment then runs in virtual machines on Microsoft’s Azure cloud. The supplier also offers free support expansion for Windows 7, beyond the January 14, 2020 deadline.

For Extended Support you normally have to pay. At the beginning of this year, it was already revealed that this customized support for Windows 7 entails a cost doubling every year. Companies and organizations have to pay per device per month, with Windows 7 Professional starting at $ 50 and Windows 7 Enterprise starting at $ 25. From January 2020, the rates will double each year, until January 2023. The WVD route now offers free support, but the costs for WVD itself are not yet known. According to sources from Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, WVD can be released at the end of September.


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