Just like with Windows 7, Microsoft are introducing a new “Extended Support Updates” (ESU) program for Windows 10 which will be available after the end of support date in October 2025.
When does Windows 10 go end of support?
Windows 10 goes end of support on October 14th, 2025.
What does Windows 10 end of support mean?
When Windows 10 reaches end of support, Microsoft will no longer provide bug fixes for issues, security fixes for vulnerabilities, time zone updates, or technical support for problems that might occur.
As noted on the Windows 10 release information page, version 22H2 is the final version of Windows 10. All editions of Windows 10, version 22H2 will remain in support with monthly security updates through October 14, 2025. Beyond that date, customers will need to pay for extended support updates if they wish to continue to receive security and bug fix updates.
What is the Windows 10 ESU Programme?
The ESU programme for Windows 10 is an extended support subscription, that will ensure that customers that choose to run or have technical / operation reasons why they can’t move to Windows 11 can continue to receive security updates and critical fixes for Operating System for three years beyond the October 2025 end of support date.
Whilst the ESU programme for Windows 7 was for commercial customers only, the Windows 10 ESU will instead be open to everyone. This means that consumers or organisations that allow employees to personal Windows 10 devices at work (BYOD) will also be able to pay for continued support beyond October 2025 if they don’t want to or can’t upgrade to Windows 11.
No pricing has been made available yet, but they did confirm that consumers and commercial, public sector, charity and education organisations will all be able to sign up for the ESU programme which will be available and charged for annually
Microsoft have said that they remain committed to the end of support date for Windows 10, with no plans to extend it beyond the current date of October 14, 2025. The paid-for ESU programme which will be available from November 2025 will ensure Windows 10 devices can still receive vulnerability patches, bug fixes and security patches for up to three years after this date.
ESU means Security Fixes but No new features
Microsoft made it clear that the ESU program will only provide security updates, meaning that there will be no new features or active development beyond 14th October 2025. Whilst available for consumers, the ESU program is most beneficial for commercial organisations unable to upgrade their devices to Windows 11 before support ends.
The ESU is of course optional – and customers will not be forced to pay for ESU. Windows 10 will continue to work beyond October 2025, but organisations will be at increasing risk since there will be no security updates to devices unless covered by the ESU subscription. .
Windows 10 end of support – Options
Options for commercial customers around planing for Windows 10 end of support are in essence
- Move to Windows 11 on physical or virtual desktops
- Stay on Windows 10 and pay for extended support for up to 3 years
- Repurpose Windows 10 devices and use in conjunction with Windows 365 Cloud PC
Benefits of moving to Windows 11
Windows 11 is the newest version of Windows, and it’s one of the best Windows versions released. Windows 11 has several key differences compared to Windows 10. This is not covered extensively in this blog but some of the highlights include:
- Most secure version of Windows ever with security that runs from Chip (silicon) through the OS and to the Cloud (Chip to Cloud).
- Faster Boot time and Instant On – Windows 11 features instant on technology and boot time improvements of around 40% – saving on average 30 seconds.
- Embedded AI features – from features like Copilot for Windows (also available in Windows 10), Windows 11 has many native apps with AI support. This is also a key development focus for Microsoft so expect more native AI embedded in Windows 11 through 2024.
- Better application performance and muti-tasking management making Windows 11 faster. Microsoft say that Windows 11 does a lot of work in memory management to favour the app windows you have open and running in the foreground. This should ensure that they get more CPU power over other system resources. Windows 11 also suspends some data in RAM while your PC sleeps, helping it wake from sleep 25% faster than Windows 10.
- New fluid UI which is modern, adaptive and well suited for new form devices, two-in-ones, multi-screen devices and for use across home, creativity, gaming and of course work.
- Can run Android apps natively from the OS
- Huge multitasking improvements that improve user focus and system performance with Snap Layouts that group your Windows and save them to the taskbar.
- Improved docking experience – Windows 11 remembers how you had your windows on your external monitor(s) and brings them back to the same state when you disconnect from a monitor and then plug it back in – great for hybrid work set-ups.
- Redesigned tablet mode experience – when you switch your device to tablet mode (for example on a Surface Pro), the device transforms and bring new gestures for opening the Start menu, dismissing windows, and more and the icons and other settings adapt to work better with touch and pen.
- Deeper pen functionality – bringing support to “ink anywhere” in any text box and app, as well more native support in-app for pen and ink.
- App Compatibility – customers can leverage App Assure – a Microsoft progtame that ensures and assists customers with applicatyion compatibility testing for migrations from Windows 10 to Windows 11.
Benefits of leveraging the Windows 10 ESU Programme
The key benefits to an organisation subscribing to Windows 10 ESU after the October 14th, 2025, end of support date are:
- Continuation of security updates and patches for Windows 10 PCs for three years after Microsoft stops supporting the operating system on October 14th, 2025. This can help protect the organisation from potential cyberattacks and vulnerabilities that may arise after the end of support date.
- More time for organisations to plan and execute a smooth transition to the next version of Windows or to move to Windows 365 Cloud PC – This can reduce the risk of compatibility issues, employee training and legacy application compatibility testing that can occur (and need to be tested) when upgrading to a new operating system.
- Avoid the cost and hassle of upgrading or replacing their existing Windows 10 devices before they reach their end of life if needed. This can save the organisation money and resources, as well as minimise the disruption to their daily operations and productivity.
Benefits of using Windows 10 with Windows 365 Boot
To help more organisations transition or take advantage of advancements in Windows 365 (Microsoft’s CloudPC technology), Microsoft also announced that commercial customers will have the ability and option to “transform” Windows 10 devices that are ineligible for Windows 11 into a Windows 365 Cloud PC that can stream Windows 11 from the Microsoft cloud. Whilst this can be done today on Windows 11, this feature, known as Windows 365 Boot, will be extended to Windows 10 devices, allowing them to be reprovisioned by Intune (Microsoft’s Endpoint management platform) to boot directly to Windows 365. As part of this, the underlying Windows 10 OS will automatically be enrolled into the ESU program at no cost to they continue to receive security updates.
This option is only available for commercial customers, as Windows 365 is currently not available as a consumer subscription service.