Last winter, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 would reach its end-of-life on January 14th, 2020. In other words, the company will not be releasing any updates for the operating system -- even crucial security patches -- after that date. The public had nearly a year to make the move to Windows 10, but Germany's government didn't upgrade in time. According to German newspaper Handelsblatt, the German Federal Ministry has at least 33,000 computers still running Windows 7 and, as a result, will have to pay Microsoft about $887,000 in extended security update fees.
Microsoft offers extended security updates to enterprise and business clients, but at a hefty price -- ZDNet reported that the company will charge $50 per machine during the first year of end-of-life support and that the price will increase after each additional year. When an organization has tens of thousands of computers, those fees add up quickly.
Maintaining thousands of computers is a tough job -- viruses, malware, software updates, hardware issues and user errors form a nearly endless to-do list for admins. But when end-of-life is announced for an operating system, upgrading to the latest version is typically a high priority. We are talking about a government organization, though, so a lack of both funding and technical expertise are to be expected. Luckily, upgrading is much easier for home users, who can still take advantage of a loophole to upgrade to Windows 10 for free.