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Microsoft reveals how much businesses will have to pay to continue using Windows 10 securely

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Microsoft is ending support for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025, and you’ll need to pay every year if you want to continue using the operating system safely. Microsoft will offer Extended Security Updates (ESU) to Windows 10 users, with pricing starting at $61 for the first year.

Pricing for additional security updates will be offered to consumers for the first time with Windows 10. Businesses and consumers will need to purchase ESU licenses for each Windows 10 device they plan to continue using after the end date support next year.

For businesses, the first year costs $61. It then doubles to $122 in the second year, then doubles again in the third year to $244. If you participate in the ESU program in the second year, you will also need to pay for the first year, as ESUs are cumulative.

On Wednesday, Microsoft updated its Windows IT Pro blog post to note that the pricing shown applies only to commercial organizations and that consumer pricing details “will be shared at a later date.”

Editor’s Note 4.3.2024: The details and pricing structure described in this article apply to commercial organizations only. Details will be shared later for consumers on our end of consumer support page. Educational institutions can find personalized information about Windows 10 end of support in the Microsoft Education Blog.

Microsoft typically offers Extended Security Update subscriptions only to organizations that need to continue running older versions of Windows. This time it’s different, as there are still a large number of people using Windows 10, almost nine years after its release in 2015.

“Extended Security Updates are not intended to be a long-term solution but rather a temporary bridge,” Microsoft explains in a blog post. “You can purchase ESU licenses for Windows 10 devices that you do not plan to upgrade to Windows 11 starting in October 2024, one year before the end of support date.”

Microsoft offers a 25% discount to businesses that use a Microsoft cloud-based updating solution like Intune or Windows Autopatch. This brings the price down to $45 per user (up to five devices) for the first year. If you use Windows 10 laptops and PCs to connect to Windows 11 cloud PCs through Windows 365, Microsoft waives security update fees since the licenses are included in the cost of the Windows 365 subscription.

Schools will get an even bigger discount, with Microsoft offering a license for $1 in the first year, which then doubles to $2 in the second year and $4 in the third year. It doesn’t look like Microsoft is going to offer special discounted prices to consumers, but we’re still a few months away from these licenses going on sale, so the company could always offer something to consumers.

Naturally, Microsoft wants consumers to upgrade to Windows 11 instead. Millions of PCs cannot officially upgrade to Windows 11 due to stricter hardware requirements and Microsoft’s security efforts with its latest operating system. Windows 11 is only supported on processors released in 2018 and on devices that support TPM security chips.

As a result, Windows 11 is lagging behind the Windows 10 rollout, which was offered to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users as a free upgrade. Windows 11 was also a free upgrade, but only for Windows 10 machines meeting the strict minimum hardware requirements.

StatCounter reports that Windows 10 is still used by 69% of all Windows users, compared to just 27% for Windows 11. This is a significant gap that Microsoft is unlikely to close over the next 18 months, forcing many Windows 10 users to consider paying. security updates for the first time.

Correction on April 3 at 8:40 p.m. ET: After publication, Microsoft updated its article to indicate that these prices are for commercial organizations only. Prices for consumers have not yet been announced.

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