As you are likely aware, on Tuesday, 14th January Microsoft will end support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Approximately, 27% of all Windows devices are using Windows 7 so many devices are potentially impacted.
For enterprise and organisations, please consider upgrading to a newer version of Windows. Further details of your options are available here (this link mentions newer versions of Windows Server after Windows Azure). For Windows 7 users, you can consider upgrading to Windows 10 or paying for extended security updates (for businesses and enterprises only). This article provides details of your options (my thanks to TechRadar for this article).
Application compatibility when migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (or their Server equivalent) is very good. Microsoft (perhaps) conveniently states it at a 99% chance your applications will work without changes. For businesses they offer their Desktop App Assure service for assistance if a Windows 7 applications experiences issues on Windows 10.
Update: 14th January 2020
Further suggestions to better defend Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are the following (my thanks to itlab.com for this list):
- Make the system offline only, if network access isn’t needed (take it off the wired or wireless network).
- If network access is needed, put the system on a separate subnet and only permit access to and from it for authorized systems. Make sure to narrow the ports permitted to connect to and from this system so that only needed ports are open.
- Remove all unnecessary apps and disable any unneeded services.
- If the system is a virtual machine, take periodic snapshots of it, so if it becomes affected by a vulnerability, you can restore the snapshot easily.
- Make certain this system is not permitted to access the internet unless it is necessary for functionality. Ensure a proxy server is in place and will only permit access to authorized sites.
- Make sure the system has anti-malware software on it, and it’s regularly updated.
While Microsoft’s Extended Security Updates (ESU) paid for scheme applies to businesses of all sizes you may experience is fewer than 50 staff as evidenced by well known Microsoft blogger, Ed Bott in the his article. While further providers came forward after the article was published, please be aware that it may not be a simple process to be accepted for the scheme.
A practical list of Windows 7 FAQs is also available from here (my thanks to AskWoody.com for this)
Support for Windows 7 is nearing the end
Support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020 (links for business, enterprise and home users)