Microsoft plans to make ESUs for Win 10 a paid service Microsoft plans to make ESUs for Win 10 a paid service

Microsoft continues up the subscription path: according to the recent announcement, the company plans to provide security-related updates for Windows 10 only to those who agree to pony up a certain amount, and not just once but on a regular basis. Not to worry, though, the move is planned for October 2025 only.

How many PCs run on Windows 10?

As of November 2023, according to StatCounter, Windows 10 is by far the most common Windows version so far, with almost 70% of computers with the respective architecture worldwide happily serving humans under its command.

If you are interested, the share of Windows 11, as of the said November, is 26.6%, with an upwards trend, that of Windows 7 3.16%, Win 8 3.01%, and there are still 0.46% of PCs that live with the magnificent Windows XP.

Why are there still so many computers in the world that continue using Windows 10, when Win 11 has been around for several months now? Two reasons, at least: for many corporate users, upgrading OS throughout their IT infrastructures means downtime they cannot/don’t want to afford, and then, there are rather strict system requirements for the latest Microsoft’s operating system.

How much will the Windows 10 extended security updates subscription cost?

Microsoft stopped releasing ESUs for Win 7 on January 14, 2020. Image - respective Win 7 screenMicrosoft stopped releasing ESUs for Win 7 on January 14, 2020. Image - respective Win 7 screen

Paid ESUs, which is short for extended security updates, is nothing new for Microsoft: it was delivering such for Windows 7 fire for some time, and the road has not been without bumps. At the outset, the company launched this service for larger clients only, which put SMBs at a disadvantage and forced them to fix what’s not broken; this decision was changed, ultimately, and smaller corporate Windows users did get a chance to sign up for Windows 7 ESUs, but the process wasn’t a breeze at all.

As for the pricing, it ranged from US$25 per device for year one to US$200 for year three. So far, there are no signs that either the approach or the pricing will change for Windows 10, so moving up to Windows 11 now, or at least starting the preparations for such a move, may be a wise decision. As stated above, Windows 10 is by far the most popular version of Microsoft’s OS currently, but sticking with it till the very last moment, if you have no real need therefor, makes little sense.

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