January 14, 2020 was the official end of the road for public updates for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2. The many organizations that continue to use them will need to find a way to service them.
In May I urged people to isolate Windows 7 and air gap it from their networks if they didn’t plan to maintain it and patch it. Since then Microsoft has expanded the Extended Security Update (ESU) program to allow any business to obtain updates for Windows 7 after January 14 through the Cloud Service Provider program. Anyone with Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate or Enterprise can purchase and activate a key that licenses you for security updates. You must purchase these extended updates starting at $61 the first year. The cost will increase over the next three years.
Installing ESU keys
To install the ESU key, the machines must have several prerequisites as noted in the Windows IT Pro blog. The following patches must be installed before installing and activating ESU keys: