What You Should Know About Windows 10’s End of Life

By: Dustin Bonn
February 26, 2024

Windows 10 is a bit of a yay-boo for Microsoft. It was amazingly popular after Windows 8 was…not. (Yay!) But it remains so amazingly popular that people don’t want to make the move to Windows 11. (Boo!) 

But all good things must come to an end, and it isn’t just about Microsoft making more money. Windows 11 offers more features and third-party storefront support, and it offers developers a more secure environment. That might not wow some of your office staff, and every new operating system takes some getting used to. But Windows 11 is coming, and Windows 10 is being phased out. In this blog, I’ll explore a little bit more about what that really means.

Key Windows 10 EOS and EOL Dates

End of life (EOL) is the date a product will no longer be marketed, sold, or updated. End of support (EOS) is the date a product will no longer be supported — at least, not for free. 

Windows timeline

What Does Windows 10’s End of Support Mean for You?

If your staff has newer PCs that are already on Windows 11, it’s smooth sailing! If you have PCs already running on Windows 10 (version 2004 or later) that are Windows 11 eligible, you can upgrade for free. You can either do this through your updates menu, or you can download Windows 11 manually

But if neither of these options works for you, you have a few more to consider. 

What Happens When Windows 10 Goes End of Life?

Timer running out

This is a common question, but Windows 10’s EOL date has actually come and gone without much notice. Many people use EOL and EOS terminology interchangeably, but Windows 10’s EOS date means something very different, which is why you’ve been hearing more about it. 

However, here’s the answer that most people are looking for: After October 14, 2025, Windows 10 won’t suddenly disappear from your PC. You can still continue to use it. However, it will no longer receive any free security updates. To put it another way, the longer you continue to use Windows 10 after its EOS date without a plan to address security, the more you’re rolling the dice with your systems and data. 

Got Older PCs? Here Are Your Options

Old computers covered in cobwebs

Microsoft did give us all plenty of warning that these dates were approaching, but of course, many businesses have had their hands full dealing with other technology upgrades. And the tricky thing about Windows 11 is that older computers may not be able to run it. 

Want a quick way to tell? Use Microsoft’s quick and easy PC Health Check App

You have a few options for PCs that aren’t able to run Windows 11, and I’ll walk you through them. This is a judgment-free zone, but I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t throw in some recommendations. 

Option 1: Do Nothing

If this were 2016, my advice might have been a little bit different. But it’s 2024, and it’s an entirely different cybercrime landscape. Unpatched software is responsible for 60% of data breaches. You’ll certainly be able to continue using Windows 10 after October 14th, but it’s a risky business. 

Option 2: Pay To Patch

There are other software developers that will offer security patches for Windows 10. Microsoft can also extend security updates for Windows 10 for up to three additional years. But neither Microsoft nor any other software developers worth their salt will be providing this service for free. But this middle-of-the-road solution buys you time.

Option 3: Buy New PCs 

Have you kept up with IT life cycle management? Good for you! This task should be a little bit easier because you’ll have an easier time knowing which PCs you’ll need to replace. 

Option 4: Use a Different System

There are other operating systems, and many are free.  Switching isn’t exactly easy, but if you have your own apps, then you’re also likely to have IT people who are up to the task. And if you use those apps to perform key business functions — and they don’t work with Windows 11 — you might want to consider this route for the time being. That said, this option is probably not going to be the best choice for most businesses. 

Sneaky Ways to Save Money for Important Upgrades 

It’s frustrating to think about getting rid of PCs that still work and constantly having to purchase new software and equipment. It’s often necessary, but it can also be wasteful. 

I do have ways to soften the sting. In this case, if you’d like to give Microsoft a little bit less of your money, Marco’s your guy. A lot of organizations don’t know this, but Microsoft’s strategic partnerships get access to insider pricing on popular business software. And if you’re like Marco, you pass those discounts along to your clients. When you transfer your license to us, you get the same software for less, plus you get our support. 

Click the button to learn more! 

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Topics: Microsoft