Microsoft has announced that it will be ending support for Windows 10 on October 14th, 2025. This means that users who want to continue using the operating system securely will need to pay for Extended Security Updates (ESU). The pricing for these updates will start at $61 for the first year and will increase in subsequent years. This marks the first time that Microsoft will offer pricing for additional security updates for consumers using Windows 10.

Businesses and consumers will need to purchase ESU licenses for each Windows 10 device they plan to keep using after the end of support cutoff date. The pricing for these licenses is structured in a way that it starts at $61 for the first year and doubles to $122 for the second year. By year three, the cost will increase to $244. It is important to note that if you enter into the ESU program in year two, you will have to pay for year one as well since the ESUs are cumulative.

Microsoft has made it clear that Extended Security Updates are not intended to be a long-term solution but rather a temporary bridge. Users can purchase ESU licenses for Windows 10 devices that they do not plan to upgrade to Windows 11 starting in October 2024, one year before the end of support date. This highlights the transition that Microsoft is encouraging users to make towards the newer operating system.

Microsoft is offering a 25 percent discount to businesses that use a Microsoft cloud-based update solution like Intune or Windows Autopatch. This discount drops the pricing to $45 per user for the first year. Schools will also benefit from a significant discount, with Microsoft offering a $1 license for year one, doubling to $2 for year two, and $4 for the third year. These discounts aim to incentivize organizations to transition smoothly to the new security update model.

While there are discounts available for businesses and schools, it does not appear that Microsoft will be offering any special discount pricing for consumers. The company is focusing on encouraging consumers to upgrade to Windows 11 as the preferred operating system. However, with millions of PCs unable to officially upgrade to Windows 11 due to strict hardware requirements, many Windows 10 users will be left with the decision of paying for security updates for the first time.

According to StatCounter, Windows 10 is still used by 69 percent of all Windows users, compared to just 27 percent for Windows 11. This significant gap in adoption rates indicates that Microsoft may face challenges in convincing Windows 10 users to make the transition to Windows 11. The strict hardware requirements and Microsoft’s security push with the latest OS have contributed to the slower adoption rate of Windows 11.

The end of support for Windows 10 in 2025 marks a significant shift in the operating system landscape. Users will need to consider the cost of security updates and the transition to Windows 11 as Microsoft continues to push towards a more secure and modern operating system environment. The pricing structure for Extended Security Updates, the discounts offered to businesses and schools, and the challenges of transitioning to Windows 11 all play a role in shaping the future of Windows users.

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