2 min

Windows 10 will no longer receive free security updates starting Oct. 14, 2025. Microsoft therefore recommends that users switch to Windows 11 before that date. If not, safe continued usage will only be possible through the Extended Security Updates program. That comes at a high cost.

Microsoft explains that it is best for organizations to migrate to Windows 11. Supported PCs can be upgraded to the new OS via Windows Autopatch or Microsoft Intune. There is also the option to migrate to the cloud and run Windows 10 via Windows 365 Cloud PC. Microsoft does not charge extra for the latter option; security remains guaranteed when you run the OS in the cloud.

There are some LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) options that will remain supported beyond 2025. Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021 will continue to receive security updates until 2027, for example.

Always expensive option

The option to extend Windows 10 support can be purchased right now. The base price per device is $61 in the first year, but every consecutive year, this amount doubles. Those who enter the ESU program later will still have to pay for year one. This doubling of the yearly price applies for a maximum of three years. Those needing three years of additional support for one Windows 10 machine will therefore have to pay 427 dollar per device.

Microsoft not only explicitly advises users to switch to Windows 11 or Windows 365, but emphasizes this by making the purchase of new PCs effectively more attractive in most cases. ESUs are designed to help organizations gradually transition to the new operating system, nothing more.

ESU programs have been offered by Microsoft for some time. For some versions of Windows, it has meant a very long life extension: for example, while mainstream support for Windows 7 (launched in 2009) ended in January 2015, the Embedded variant continued to receive security updates until October 2023.

Read our earlier article on Windows 10 and Windows 11 end dates here.