Tech giant Microsoft has announced that it will start charging consumers for Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 10 once support for the operating system ends in 2025.
This move represents a significant change as these paid security updates are typically only offered to organizations that need to continue using older versions of the operating system.
Now for the first time The plan is to extend this service to individuals via an annual subscription, rather than extending the end of support for Windows 10.
While we strongly recommend transitioning to Windows 11, we understand that there are circumstances that may prevent you from replacing Windows 10 devices before the support date. Therefore, Microsoft will offer extended security updates.
These updates for Windows 10 contain critical and/or important security patchesHowever, they do not contain new features, non-security updates or design changes requested by the customer. Additionally, technical support is not available beyond extended security updates.
Windows 10 support end date is scheduled October 14, 2025, more than 10 years after Microsoft first released the operating system. Many expected Microsoft to expand support for Windows 10, especially since it is still widely used.
If you are an individual consumer or organization that wants to continue using Windows 10 after October 14, 2025, you have the option to enroll your PC in the paid Extended Security Updates (ESU) program.
Although Microsoft has not yet detailed the pricing of its extended security updates for Windows 10, it did say so “Further details, including pricing, will be announced at a later date.”
This unexpected movement comes Just weeks after Microsoft announced it was “rethinking” its approach to Windows 10. In addition to offering extended security updates, Microsoft is integrating its AI-powered Copilot into Windows 10 and is planning “additional investments” that could include additional AI-powered features in the future. However, no major updates are planned for Windows 10.
Despite Windows 10’s continued popularity as an operating system, this is important to note There are less than two years of support remaining before a downgrade to Windows 11 is required (or whatever comes next) or pay for security updates.
Support for Windows 7 ended in 2020, just over ten years after its release, and extended security updates ended earlier this year. Mainstream support for Windows XP ended after just eight years, and extended support ended after almost 13 years.
Microsoft could be forced to offer free security updates for Windows 10 beyond the end of support anyway. Windows XP received a highly unusual patch to prevent a major ransomware attack in 2017, three years after extended support ended. If Windows 10 is affected by something similar in the future, this type of action could happen again.