Microsoft Announces Expanded Security Update Program for Windows 10

We have been aware for some time that Windows 10 will reach end of support on October 14, 2025. However, Microsoft recently announced an Extended Security Update (ESU) program. Organizations desiring to continue using Windows 10 after the support end date will be able to purchase monthly security updates as part of this program; new features will not be included.

According to the company, the ESU program for Windows 10 will offer critical and/or important security updates. This program does not include new features, non-security updates, or design change requests. Additionally, technical support beyond the ESU itself will not be available.

Organizations opting to stay on Windows 10 after October 2025 can subscribe to the Windows 10 ESU program, which is renewable for three years. Pricing details for this program are currently unknown.

For organizations that choose not to participate in the ESU program, Microsoft offers two alternatives: purchasing new Windows 11 Pro devices or migrating to Windows 365 Cloud PCs, available through a subscription. Windows 365 customers will receive free ESUs for their Windows 10 devices connecting to Windows 11 Cloud PCs. Microsoft is also offering free ESUs to customers running a Windows 10 instance in Azure Virtual Desktop.

Despite being on the market for two years, Windows 10 remains the most popular version of the OS by a substantial margin. According to data from Statcounter from November 2023, 68.02% of Windows users were running Windows 10 last month, compared to 26.63% running Windows 11.

Microsoft’s decision to offer enterprise customers the Windows 10 ESU program was necessary, considering that the Windows 7 ESU program officially ended in January 2023, 14 years after the release of Windows 7, which remained very popular during the Windows 8/8.1 era.

With Windows 10 about to take the place of Windows 7, it becomes clear that Windows 11, with its redesigned taskbar and Start Menu, required some time for users to adapt. Additionally, the OS launched with strict minimum hardware requirements, such as a TPM 2.0 security chip, which made it impossible for many Windows 10 users to upgrade.

Microsoft plans to provide more details about the Windows 10 ESU program closer to its availability. Notably, the Windows 10 Extended Security Updates program will also be available for individuals, marking a first for Microsoft.

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