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German government to pay €800,000 in Windows 7 ESU fees this year

The sum represents ESU fees for over 33,000 government workstations that are still running Windows 7, allowing German government systems to receive security updates for one more year.

The German federal government stands to pay at least €800,000 ($886,000) this year to Microsoft, local media reported.

The sum represents support fees for over 33,000 government workstations that are still running Windows 7, a Microsoft operating system that reached the end of support (EoS) on Jan. 14, and for which Microsoft has stopped providing free security updates and bug fixes.

Last year, Redmond announced a paid program for governments and enterprise partners. The program, named the are Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU), would provide paid access to Windows 7 security updates until Jan. 10, 2023.

ESU updates, for which the German government has recently signed up, cost between $25 to $200 per workstation, depending on the Windows 7 version a company is running (Enterprise or Pro) and the amount of time they'll need the updates.

Remaining on Windows 7 without signing up for ESU incurs significant security risks. Microsoft has advised companies to migrate to Windows 10 and has started nagging Windows 7 users to do so using pop-ups and fullscreen adverts starting last year.

According to a report from German newspaper Handelsblatt, the German government has started the process of migrating to Windows 10 in 2018, but not all federal governments have completed the move.

In Berlin alone, the local government runs 20,000 Windows 7 systems, of the total 85,000, Handelsblatt reported, which will now be signed up for Windows 7 ESUs.

While every analytics provider has its own number, it is believed that roughly 200 million PCs worldwide are still running older Windows versions, most of which are Windows 7.

However, not all of the now-EoS Windows 7 systems are eligible for the ESU program, which Microsoft appears to have limited to large clients only, and has not made available to home users or small businesses.

The sum that the German government will be paying Microsoft is consistent with what Ireland's government will be paying for ESU updates this year as well. According to a report in local media, Ireland's Health Service Executive will pay €1.1 million ($1.2 million) in 2020, and again the same sum in 2021, for security updates for 46,000 Windows 7 computers still operating on its network, out of a total of 58,000.



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