3 min Devices

“240 million Windows 10 PCs will become e-waste by 2025”

“240 million Windows 10 PCs will become e-waste by 2025”

The phasing out of Windows 10 as an operating system is potentially going to lead to 240 million PCs becoming e-waste. This is due to Microsoft’s stringent hardware requirements for upgrading to Windows 11, researchers from Canalys warn in a recent report.

About 240 million PCs and laptops could end up on the scrap heap as e-waste, according to the Canalys report. By October 2025, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 10, which is the latest OS the systems in question are able to run.

Incidentally, that’s a considerably lower estimate than we recently heard from the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). According to that collective, 400 million actively used systems do not meet the system requirements of Windows 11 and are bound for the scrapheap.

Tip: “Microsoft abandoning 400 million Windows 10 PCs”

The reason for this is Microsoft’s stringent hardware requirements for upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11. For example, many systems lack support for TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot, which is required to install Windows 11. By the way, there are ways around those requirements.

Refurbishing and reuse difficult

What is even more galling to the researchers, however, is that these hard hardware requirements hinder the refurbishing and reuse of these PCs and laptops. Such reuse is in demand these days and was recently encouraged by HP, for example, for business PCs.

Also read: HP launches refurbishment program for business PCs

As a result, most of these redundant devices will soon end up in landfills. After all, systems that cannot be technically updated are virtually worthless for refurbishing.

Maximizing equipment life

Canalys believes that manufacturers should make every effort to maximize the lifespan of their devices. This is especially important because the impact of creating even more e-waste has a huge impact on the environment. Manufacturers must therefore do more to meet their circular economy goals.

Sustainability, repairability and recyclability must therefore be ingrained firmly into the designs of new hardware, as well as operating systems. They should ensure that PCs and laptops remain usable and safe for as long as possible.

Paying for Windows 10 updates

By the way, Microsoft does not plan to completely phase out support, especially security-related support, for Windows 10. Earlier this month, the tech giant announced support for this version of its operating system will continue for three years for an annual fee. However, this is a method it does not encourage at all. For systems with mission-critical tasks, it is a temporary solution before replacement can be arranged.

According to Canalys, the offer of extra support is in any case a positive development, but notes that for many companies the amounts to be paid are still difficult to afford.

Also read: Anyone wanting to keep Windows 10 secure after 2025 will have to pay up