Germany to Pay Microsoft Nearly $900,000 to Secure Outdated Windows

The German government will pay 800,000 Euros ($887,000) for extended Windows 7 security updates as thousands of computers used by the local authorities are still running the 2009 operating system.

Windows 7 reached the end of support on January 14, 2020, so Microsoft no longer releases security patches.

A report from German newspaper Handelsblatt reveals that the government still uses Windows 7 on more than 33,000 computers, out of which approximately 20,000 are said to be in Berlin.

The German government launched a dedicated program to support the migration to new operating systems back in 2018, with a total of 30 agencies said to be participating. However, only 20 have already switched completely to Windows 10, with the remaining now expected to do the same in the upcoming months.

Increasing cost for Windows security updates

The extended support for Windows 7 will presumably be provided until January 2021 – Microsoft issues extended security updates for a maximum of three years after an operating system reaches the end of support; the prices, however, double every year – in the first year, it’s estimated that each organization has to pay around $25 for each device that requires the updates.

The Windows 7 end of support, however, doesn’t come out of the blue, as Microsoft announces retirement dates in advance specifically to give customers more time to migrate to newer Windows versions.

The transition off Windows 7 is believed to be particularly difficult because of the hardware upgrades that are requires, as Windows 10 comes with new features that require dedicated hardware.

While running outdated Windows isn’t obviously recommended, companies whose devices are still powered by Windows 7 can turn to a series of additional security recommendations, including limited network access to prevent cyberattacks.

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