In brief: With Windows 7's extended support period set to end on January 14, 2020, businesses that can't or won't upgrade to Windows 10 face paying Microsoft's high fees to keep receiving extended security updates (ESUs). But the company is running a promotion that allows some customers extra time to migrate to the newer OS.

As reported by The Register, the Windows 7 and Office 2010 end of support FAQ reveals that companies running Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Security, and Government E5 plans will receive the first year of Windows 7 ESUs free.

The offer will save businesses a lot of money. Those using Windows 7 Enterprise would normally be paying $25 per machine during the first year of ESUs, while staying on Windows 7 Pro starts at $50. The prices double every year for three years.

"Starting June 1st, EA and EAS customers with active subscription licenses to Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, or Microsoft 365 E5 Security (as of December 31, 2019) will get Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for Year 1 as a benefit," writes Microsoft.

"With this limited-time promotion, you have more options to continue receiving Windows 7 security updates after end of support."

Yesterday, antivirus giant Kaspersky released a customer survey that revealed 40 percent of very small businesses and 48 percent of small, medium-sized businesses (SMB) still used unsupported or approaching end of support operating systems. Specifically, 47 percent of SMB and Enterprise customers were found to be still using Windows 7. The survey aligns with a recent report that showed many businesses were taking too long to migrate from Windows 7.