Windows 10 Gets Extended Security Update Programme

Back in July 2022 I was at Microsoft’s Seattle headquarters, sitting in some glorious sunshine (not always guaranteed in Seattle) having a coffee with a company vice president.  We were discussing end of life for Windows 10, coming in October 2025.

I explained to him the problem with the stringent hardware requirements for upgrading a PC to Windows 11.  These being that not only did the computer have to have a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security chip, but that it must be running an 8th Generation Intel or ARM processor or newer.

I told him that I fully understood why Microsoft had made those decisions.  The seventh generation Intel Core processors had suffered from some hideous security flaws that simply couldn’t be fixed, and Microsoft wanted to make PC computing much more safe and secure for everybody.

However I then went on to explain that some 50 million tonnes of electronic waste is generated worldwide every year, with only 20% being recycled.  The rest ends up in landfill where metals and chemicals seep into the ground and water table, and do everything from killing birds to causing cancer.

Clearly Microsoft had to change their stance, either on the Windows 10 end of support date, or the upgrade requirements to Windows 11.  I always felt the latter would be nigh-on impossible, so picking my fight carefully I implored the company to extend support for Windows 10 until such time as the PCs running it would need to be replaced anyway.

Now, a year and a half later we finally have an answer, and to be honest it was the answer I was expecting.  Not wishing to extend support for Windows 10, Microsoft have announced an “extended security update programme” that businesses, and this time also consumers, can opt in to.  This won’t be a free service by any means, and there are lots of answers we just don’t have yet, but Microsoft launched a similar programme for Windows 7 that was for businesses only, and was extremely expensive.

I will assume that because consumers are included this time around that it will be significantly cheaper.  Windows 10 is currently installed on almost 70% of all PCs, which means about 700 million or more of them.  With Windows 11 now having been released several years ago, and Windows 12 expected in October 2024 it’s highly unlikely they will be upgraded before all support for the operating system ends.

We’ll have to wait until next year or maybe even later for more details on pricing, how many years it will run for (Windows 7’s programme ran for three years) and how people and businesses can subscribe (it required a new product key every year last time, which was a bit of a ball-ache) but I’ll take my good news where I can get it.