• Bott: Want to pay for Win7 Extended Support? Good luck.

    Ed’s headline didn’t quite put it that way, but he’s run up against the same roadblock we’ve been hitting. From his new article in ZDNet So you want to keep running Windows 7? Good luck with that, small businesses:

     I went in search of Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (the promised $50-for-the-first-year security patches), figuring it would be a simple task, and I could share the step-by-step procedure here. I discovered that unless you already have a relationship with a friendly Cloud Service Provider, the process is far more difficult than it should be… Microsoft doesn’t seem particularly interested in taking your money if your business is too small.

    Susan Bradley, in this morning’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter (Plus membership required), echoes the same lament:

    At this point, purchasing an ESU license isn’t easy. Microsoft recommends searching for a CSP through its online database. But most of those vendors are probably not interested in handling one or a few Win7 ESU purchases. They’re typically geared toward large businesses.

    For example, the local CSP I use currently doesn’t offer any licenses. The closest vendors I could find were six hours away. Amy Babinchak and I are looking for the best way for small businesses and individuals to obtain an ESU license. We’ll tell you about the process once we figure it out.

    I’ve been talking with Susan and Amy about the roadblocks they’ve encountered. I figured that some smart anointed Cloud Service Provider should be anxious to sell $50 patching licenses — they should sell like hotcakes. After all, with 200 million or so Win7 machines still huffing and puffing, signing up even a small percentage of those folks should at least pay for the effort, shouldn’t it?

    Or should it? Apparently CSPs can only look forward to $5 or so per license — and given the amount of tech support, paperwork and overhead involved, it looks more like a briar patch than a yellow brick road.

    We’ll keep you posted, but the situation for small businesses (and individuals) doesn’t look good.