Windows 10 Support Deadline Raises Questions

John Lister's picture

Windows 10 devices are set to become insecure next year unless users pay an extra fee. But with warnings of 240 million devices "going to landfill", it remains possible Microsoft will blink at the last moment.

That Windows 10 reaches the end of its support period on October 14, 2025 is no secret: it's long been on Microsoft's support calendar and is in line with the company's policy of 10 years support. From that date, Microsoft will no longer issue free security updates.

As happened with Windows 7, Microsoft will offer a paid update service for people in "circumstances that could prevent you from replacing Windows 10 devices." These updates will only cover security issues classed as "important" or "critical" and won't include any changes to features or functionality.

The pricing isn't yet confirmed. With Windows 7 it was an escalating fee of $50 for the first year, $100 for the second year and $200 for the third and final year when paid security updates were available. (Source:

240 Million PCs Could Be Obsolete

That could become a major issue as refusing to update to Windows 11 is often not a case of users being obstinate. Many computers don't meet the minimum specifications, most notably a requirement for a hardware security feature called TPM 2.0. Installing that can be difficult or impossible on many machines.

Meanwhile many users are reluctant to buy new computers for Windows 11 simply because they don't see the changes from Windows 10 as being significant enough to justify the cost.

According to an estimate from Canalys Research, owners of around 240 million computers will face the decision of paying for security updates or replacing their devices. It notes that could mean electronic waste that weighs as much as 320,000 cars. (Source:

Users May Take Risky Option

What puts all of this into jeopardy is the prospect of users taking a third option: continuing to run Windows 10 without security updates. That's a big risk individually, but also risks becoming a major problem for Microsoft. If enough Windows 10 computers are unprotected, any security vulnerabilities will be hugely attractive to hackers and criminals.

The risk of negative publicity from such attacks, and the damage to the Windows ecosystem as a whole could mean Microsoft backtracks on its support plans. That's thought to be what happened with Windows XP, which wound up getting support for two years long than expected, partly because users were put off upgrading to the poorly-received Windows Vista.

What's Your Opinion?

If you run Windows 10, what are your plans for next year? Will you upgrade, replace your machine, pay for security updates, or take your chances without support? Do you think Microsoft will stick to its plans for switching to paid support only?

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Average: 5 (8 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

Frankly speaking, I'm holding off on upgrade to Windows 11 (even though my hardware supports it) long enough for all those nasty bugs to get squashed. As far as functionality goes, it looks pretty much the same as Windows 10 but the menus have changed - and not necessarily for the good. Thankfully there's third party programs that can revert the machine to make it more usable, like open shell, formerly classic shell start menu.

ronangel1's picture

As things are at present I will not pay for security updates on 10 as wont many others.
My machines will not work with Win 11, and at present, I do not like the way it works!
Some company is bound to come up with security updates that will work with Win 10 probably one of the major anti-virus companies including with their products. I think Microsoft will back down and give updates free or risk losing other business worth millions!

lesgray_cdn's picture

Microsoft should just bite the bullet and remove the hardware requirements for Windows 11, or at least broaden the range is supported. They can and maybe should add the caveat to users that if they install without TPM2, security may be compromised and that Microsoft does not fully support that kind of configuration and takes no responsibility if 11 is installed on such a system. AS long as one has enough ram (ie 8 or even better 16GB) systems from Gen 4 Intels and equivalent AMDs work with 11 just fine.

nospam_5346's picture

I’m hoping Windows 12 will fix Windows 11. My computer is compliant, but I can’t stand the GUI and menus that hide everything behind ellipses requiring more mouse clicks.

If 12 doesn’t fix it, I’m likely to stay with 10 until I have to switch when games or Steam no longer support it.

read.tom_5843's picture

It's a shame because this PC is very fast and does everything I need but it can't support Win 11. Guess I'll be putting Ubuntu on another PC. I don't really need Windows on my home PC anyway. Really annoying.

jhgsub_13922's picture

I bought an IBM PC in 1980 and have been paying MS since. No more. I have converted everything I need to Linux Mint. Most programs are the same or better and all free. The very few times I need an old Windows program I will use Win 10 on a Virtual Machine. Everything regularly updated and FREE.

Draq's picture

I do agree that making all of those computers obsolete when they could otherwise run Windows 11 is ridiculous, but let's face the facts here. Those computers are going to break and be part of the waste problem eventually no matter what Microsoft decides to do. They may last a bit longer if Microsoft backtracks on the decision to stop supporting Windows 10 in 2025, but it's only going to slow things down.

As for myself, I'll run this Windows 10 machine until I can't anymore. That'll be until it breaks or I can't get updates for Windows 10 anymore. I doubt this one could run 11 well even with workarounds. It has an Intel j-2900 and only 4 GB of RAM. I got it in 2016.

russoule's picture

What happened to "te last operating system you will need"? I was happy with Win7 and even Wn8.1, but with the promise of Win10 being the "last operating system", I upgraded to it.

Now it seems that Microsoft found out it can earn MORE MONEY by "upgrading" OPSYS every few years and making sure the OPSYS can't be run efficiently on older machines (Surface anyone?). There should be a class-action suit against Microsoft for false advertisement regarding
Win 10.

Like many other responders, I have older hardware, even going back to an HP5850, and I'll be d@mned if I will PAY MS for updates or purchase a new system just so it can run Win 11. Win 11 may be more secure than earlier OPSYS, but paying out $500 to $1500 (new system cost) just for that is dumb. IF, and that is a BIG if, MS upgraded its OPSYS without all the fancy rigamorale so it ran faster and cleaner, it might be worth a buck or two. But Win 11 requires mass RAM because it nees it in order to run at a reasonable pace with all the ///BS it has weighing it down.

Lucky for me, I have retired and only need Win10 for the tax package that I run, so any lack of support will meaningless. As said by another, I'll run Win10 in virtual mode if I must.

Dennis Faas's picture

This is just a theory but with all the older machines not supporting TPM 2.0, it's possible Microsoft might make an optional subscription model out of Windows 12.

This would be made possible by connecting the outdated machine to a virtualized / slim down environment through a web browser. All the heavy lifting is done by the remote virtual machine which also supports TPM 2.0, and the video output is redirected through the browser on the outdated machine. Voila - you have Windows 12 on old, unsupported hardware.

There's been a few articles suggesting Windows 12 might run as a service (SaaS), but I would never, ever pay a monthly fee for Windows. Once that happens I'm definitely jumping ship. I already know how to use Linux quite well and also program on the environment daily, though the game support on Linux is severely lacking.