Petition demands that Microsoft extends Windows 10 support
Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) petitioned Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella this week to reconsider ending support for Windows 10 in October 2025.
Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system was released in 2015 with a ten year support period. The operating system continues to be supported for the next 2 years. While it won't receive major feature updates anymore, it continues to receive security updates, bug fixes and the occasional new feature or change.
Microsoft released Windows 11 in 2021 as the successor of Windows 10. Users not familiar with the release may suggest to upgrade Windows 10 devices to Windows 11 to stay supported. This, however, is not possible in all cases.
The Windows system requirements changed significantly with the release of Windows 11. Microsoft did so for the first time in a long while. Windows 7, an operating system released back in 2009, had the same requirements as Windows 10, released in 2015.
The release of Windows 11 changed that and the ability for all Windows devices to upgrade to the new version. Microsoft decided to limit processors to those released in 2018 and later, and also added other requirements, such as a TPM chip.
Devices that do not meet these requirements can't be upgraded to Windows 11 using Windows Update.
PIRG's petition, Tell Microsoft: Don’t leave millions of computers behind, asks Microsoft to extend support for Windows 10. The organization claims that about 40% of Windows 10 and earlier PCs can't be upgraded to Windows 11 because of the new hardware requirements. This would leave millions of devices without support and has the potential of creating the "single biggest jump in junked computers ever".
While it is technically possible to upgrade Windows 10 devices to Windows 11, even if they do not meet the official system requirements, it is not something that most Windows 10 users may do. First, because it requires tinkering with the installation, and second, because Microsoft stated that it does not guarantee anything if a PC is not compatible. Even security updates might not be provided for these devices.
In reality, things have been less dramatic up to this point. The main issue that incompatible devices will run into is that some features are not available. Also, feature updates recheck compatibility, which means that tweaking is required once per year when these updates do get installed.
Extending Windows 10 support
Microsoft has not released a public statement regarding Windows 10's end of support. A likely scenario is that the company will copy what it did when Windows 7 reached end of support. Equally popular, Windows 7 reached end of support in January 2020.
Microsoft allowed Enterprise customers and businesses to extend support by up to three years for a price. Home owners on the other hand did not get such an offer.
Microsoft might extend Windows 10 support for three years or even longer using the same program. It is likely, however, that it will be limited to Enterprise and business customers once again.
This leaves Windows 10 Home owners with just a few options. Some may upgrade to Windows 11, if the device meets the system requirements.
Others may continue to run Windows 10, but that is a security risk, as Microsoft won't release updates for the operating system anymore. Third-party micropatching service 0Patch might come to the rescue, as it has done the same in the past.
The last option, at least when it comes to keeping the current PC, is to migrate to Linux. This is a great opportunity for Linux, especially if someone creates a tool to make the migration as easy as possible.
Microsoft's focus is on Windows 11 and the rumored release of a new version of Windows, maybe Windows 12, in 2024. If true, system requirements would likely stay identical to those of Windows 11, which won't be helpful to Windows 10 and earlier customers.
Now You: which operating system do you use? If Windows 10, what will you do in 2025?Advertisement