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Today, January 14, 2020, marks the end of support for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Customers loved these releases, which introduced advancements such as the shift from 32-bit to 64-bit computing and server virtualization. While support for these popular releases ends today, we are excited about new innovations in cloud computing, hybrid cloud, and data that can help server workloads get ready for the new era.

We want to thank customers for trusting Microsoft as their technology partner. We also want to make sure that we work with all our customers to support them through this transition while applying the latest technology innovations to modernize their server workloads.

We are pleased to offer multiple options to as you make this transition. Learn how you can take advantage of cloud computing in combination with Windows Server as you make this transition. Here are some of our customers that are using Azure for their Windows Server workloads.

Customers using Azure for their Windows Server workloads

Customers such as All Scripts, Tencent, Alaska Airlines, and Altair Engineering are using Azure to modernize their apps and services. One great example of this is from JB Hunt Transport Services, Inc. which has over 3.5 million trucks on the road every single day.

See how JB Hunt has driven their digital transformation with Azure:

JB Hunt truck, linking to video

How you can take advantage of Azure for your Windows Server workloads

You can deploy Windows Server workloads in Azure in various ways such as Virtual Machines on Azure, Azure VMware Solutions and Azure Dedicated Host. You can apply Azure Hybrid Benefit to use existing Windows Server licenses in Azure. The benefits are immediate and tangible, Azure Hybrid Benefit alone saves 40 percent in cost. Use the Azure Total Cost of Ownership Calculator to estimate your savings by migrating your workloads to Azure.

As you transition your Windows Server workloads to the cloud, Azure offers additional app modernization options. For example, you can migrate Remote Desktop Service to Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure, which offers the best virtual desktop experience, multi-session Windows 10, and elastic scale. You can migrate on-premises SQL Server to Azure SQL database, which offers Hyperscale, artificial intelligence, and advanced threat detection to modernize and secure your databases. Plus, you can future proof your apps, no more patching and upgrades, which is a huge benefit to many IT organizations.

Free extended security updates on Azure

We understand comprehensive upgrades are traditionally a time-consuming process for many organizations. To ensure that you can continue to protect your workloads, you can take advantage of three years of extended security updates, which you can learn more about here, for your Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 servers only on Azure. This will allow you more time to plan the transition paths for your business-critical apps and services.

How you can take advantage of latest innovations in Windows Server on-premises

If your business requires that your servers must stay on-premises, we recommend upgrading to the latest Windows Server.

Windows Server 2019 is the latest and the most quickly adopted Windows Server version ever. Millions of instances have been deployed by customers worldwide. Hybrid capabilities of Windows Server 2019 have been designed to help customers integrate Windows Server on-premises with Azure on their own terms. Windows Server 2019 adds additional layers of security such as Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and Defender Exploit Guard, which improves even further when you connect to Azure. With Kubernetes support for Windows containers, you can deploy modern-containerized Windows apps on premises or on Azure.

With Windows Server running on-premises, you can still leverage Azure services for backup, update management, monitoring and security. To learn how you can start using these capabilities, we recommend trying Windows Admin Center – a free, browser-based app included as part of Windows Sever licenses that makes server management easier than ever.

Start innovating with your Window Server workloads

Getting started with the latest release of Windows Server 2019 has never been easier.

In addition, tune into our Azure Migration Virtual Event on February 26, 2020, and learn about best practices and common issues when moving Windows Server and SQL Server workloads to Azure.

Today also marks the end of support for Windows 7. To learn more, visit the Microsoft 365 blog.

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