Microsoft’s decision to extend Windows 10 support through its Extended Security Updates (ESU) program until 2028 offers a crucial reprieve for users and organizations not ready to transition to Windows 11. Originally slated to end on Oct. 14, 2025, this extension provides three more years of vital security updates, albeit at a cost.
The ESU program, mirroring the approach taken with Windows 7, will enable access to monthly security updates and technical support, according to a recent report from Ars Technica. While Microsoft has not yet revealed specific pricing, it’s anticipated to increase annually, as seen with the Windows 7 ESU program. This pricing strategy is designed to encourage users to eventually migrate to newer versions of Windows, with costs varying based on the number of PCs needing updates.
Microsoft has declared Windows 10 22H2 as the final iteration of the OS, focusing henceforth on security rather than new features. However, a recent update did introduce the Copilot generative AI assistant among other minor updates. Despite this, Microsoft is urging users to consider upgrading to Windows 11, suggesting options like updating existing computers, purchasing new hardware, or shifting to cloud-based solutions like Windows 365.
The move to Windows 11 poses challenges, particularly due to its stricter system requirements which render some Windows 10 PCs incompatible. This situation complicates the transition for many organizations, adding hardware replacement and migration costs as well as an increase in e-waste. The ESU program is designed to buy time for these entities to adjust, whether it involves familiarizing themselves with Windows 11, training users, or resolving compatibility issues with other critical systems.
The extension of the ESU program is significant not only for businesses and institutions but also for individual users. Many may prefer to stick with Windows 10 due to personal preferences, specific UI features, or hardware limitations. The ESU program offers a viable alternative for these users, allowing them to maintain security without the immediate need to upgrade. The program’s appeal will depend on its cost and whether it’s available for different Windows editions, including Home versions.