Millions of Windows 10 PCs scrapped next year – is yours one of them?

Millions of Windows 10-powered laptops and desktop PCs look set to be heading into landfills next year. That’s the latest warning from experts who say the impending end of support for this operating system will leave many facing a major dilemma. For those not aware, Microsoft has confirmed that it won’t offer free updates after October 2025 which means devices that haven’t, or simply can’t upgrade to Windows 11 will become obsolete and won’t receive vital security patches or new features.

With that end of life for Windows 10 approaching fast, the research team at Canalys Insights are now warning that it could mean 240 million devices are heading for the scrap heap.

“Canalys estimates that in the nearly two-year period until Microsoft’s official end-of-support date for Windows 10 – 14 October 2025 – roughly a fifth of devices will become e-waste due to incompatibility with the Windows 11 OS,” the company said in a blog post.

“This equates to 240 million PCs. If these were all folded laptops, stacked one on top of another, they would make a pile 600km taller than the moon.”

One of the biggest issues for many PC owners is that their devices simply aren’t compatible with Microsoft’s latest operating system which means the only option is to buy a brand new laptop.

That lack of Windows 10 support also makes hardware a lot more difficult to trade in or resell which is why so many devices could end up at the tip.

“Most of these 240 million PCs, if in good condition, could at least be recycled, but their incompatibility with the latest supported version of Windows massively reduces their value for refurbishing and reselling,” added Canalys. “Realistically, landfill is still a common outcome for used PCs.”

There will be one way of holding on to your old PC next year with Microsoft confirming it will extend Windows 10 support for those prepared to pay.

“While we strongly recommend moving to Windows 11, we understand there are circumstances that could prevent you from replacing Windows 10 devices before the EOS date. Therefore, Microsoft will offer Extended Security Updates,” Microsoft’s Jason Leznek confirmed in an update.

It’s unclear how much this Extended Security Updates (ESU) plan will cost although Microsoft has confirmed that users will be able to purchase a yearly subscription to security updates.

This yearly commitment is then renewable for three years.

It will offer a lifeline but if you want to keep your PC safe without paying for a subscription you will have to switch to Windows 11 next year.


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