October 14, 2025 is the official end-of-support date for Windows 10 and no security updates will be issued after that date. However, Microsoft, in a move reminiscent of its approach with previous Windows versions, has thrown a lifeline to those clinging to Windows 10: an offer of three additional years of security updates – at a cost.
This reprieve comes in the form of the Extended Security Updates (ESU) program, mirroring the initiative once offered for Windows 7. Announced by Jason Leznek, Principal Product Manager at Windows Servicing and Delivery, the program entails three more years of monthly security updates and technical support, purchasable annually. While the exact pricing has not been announced, it’s anticipated to follow the precedent set by the Windows 7 ESU program, where costs escalated each year to incentivize migration to newer Windows versions. The cost structure is expected to be per-seat, scaling with the number of PCs requiring updates.
For businesses, educational institutions, and governments, the ESU program is more than just extended support; it’s a buffer period. It allows these entities to familiarize themselves with Windows 11’s new features, prepare their users, and test for any incompatibilities with essential hardware and software. However, Windows 11’s stringent system requirements add complexity to this transition, as not all Windows 10 PCs officially support the new OS. This situation potentially increases the time and cost involved in hardware upgrades or cloud migration.
For individual users, sticking with an older OS version is often a matter of personal preference or hardware limitations. Some may favour Windows 10 over Windows 11 due to familiarity, specific UI features, or apprehensions about the newer version. Depending on the ESU program’s cost and the Windows editions it covers, it could offer a temporary respite for these users as well.
Sources include:Ars Technica