Windows 10 End of Life

Windows 10 End of Life: What It Means for Businesses

April 12, 2024

Jaco Dreyer

Introduction 

In just 18 months, Microsoft is bidding farewell to its beloved Windows 10 operating system. By October 14, 2025, the tech giant will officially pull the plug on support for this iconic software. But for businesses, this transition presents both challenges and opportunities. Let’s delve into what this means for your business’s Windows 10 infrastructure and how you can prepare for the inevitable transition.

Understanding Windows 10 End of Life 

14th October 2025 marks the end of an era as Microsoft wraps up its decade-long journey with Windows 10. The current version, 22H2, will be the final iteration of Windows 10, with all editions receiving monthly security update releases through to that date.  

While your business’s Windows 10 systems won’t suddenly cease to function, they will no longer receive the stream of security updates and support they once relied on. 

Now, you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Can’t we just stick with what we’ve got?” Well, not quite. When a Windows version hits its end-of-support date, it’s like navigating uncharted territory without a compass. Sure, your systems will keep running. However, without those crucial updates, they are vulnerable to every digital storm, leaving Windows 10 exposed to cyber threats that could compromise sensitive data and infrastructure. 

Microsoft’s advice? Upgrade to the latest and greatest, right? Not so fast. While the prospect of hopping onto Windows 11 sounds promising, not all business systems are equipped for this journey. If your hardware doesn’t meet Windows 11’s stringent compatibility standards, you’re left in Windows 10 land. 

So, what’s a savvy business owner or IT administrator to do when faced with this conundrum? Fear not, for you have options – five to be precise, but only two of them are truly viable. 

Options for Businesses Facing Windows 10 End of Life 

Now, 2025 might seem like it’s a world away, but it’s smart to start thinking about your options now. Here’s what you need to know: 

Option One: Upgrade to Windows 11 

Microsoft’s (and our) top recommendation is to transition to Windows 11. Positioned as the future of Microsoft’s operating systems, Windows 11 offers enhanced features, improved security, and a sleek modern user interface. For businesses aiming to stay ahead of the curve, upgrading to Windows 11 is a compelling choice. However, it’s important to note that older machines may not support this upgrade, necessitating a plan for replacement. 

Option Two: Pay for Extended Security Updates (ESUs) 

For organisations unable to make an immediate transition to Windows 11, Microsoft offers Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for Windows 10. While sticking with Windows 10 comes with a price tag for security updates (sans new features), ESUs provide a vital lifeline. Though the exact cost remains somewhat of a mystery, it’s likely to be a monthly subscription for updates. Despite the additional expense, ESUs deliver crucial security patches to mitigate risks post-End of Life. 

Option 3: Buy a New PC 

Microsoft and its partners would like you to replace that unsupported hardware with a brand-new PC. With the potential arrival of Windows 12 in mid-2024, a shiny new laptop running the next-generation operating system might entice you. However, discarding a perfectly functional PC may seem wasteful, especially if you rely on mission-critical software that isn’t compatible with the new OS. Businesses would need to budget for this expenditure, which depending on their size, may not be feasible to accomplish within the designated time frame.

Option 4: Explore Alternative Operating Systems 

You could retain your old hardware and swap out Windows 10 for your preferred flavour of Linux. If you possess the technical knowledge and experience to manage the transition, this option is worth considering. However, for most businesses with existing investments in Windows software, it’s not a realistic alternative. 

Option 5: Ignore The End Of Support Deadline Completely 

While you can technically continue using Windows 10 without paying, it’s not recommended. Operating without updates leaves your business’s PCs vulnerable to threats and security issues. Without Microsoft’s support to address problems, even tech experts like us are left with limited options for assistance. Ignoring this deadline is not a viable choice – please don’t take this option! 

The Importance of Planning and Preparedness 

Regardless of the chosen path, conducting IT audits and strategic planning is vital. Assessing current hardware and software capabilities, identifying potential risks, and devising a comprehensive migration plan are critical steps in ensuring a seamless transition. With the Windows 10 End of Life deadline looming, proactive planning is paramount for businesses.  

By evaluating available options, assessing risks, and implementing a strategic transition plan, organisations can minimise disruptions and safeguard their operations against potential threats. Knowing about the Windows 10 End of Life sooner rather than later empowers businesses to plan effectively, allocate resources efficiently, and mitigate risks, ensuring a seamless transition to the next phase of their IT infrastructure.  

Conclusion 

You have until 14th October 2025 to make your decision. However, if you want your business to thrive this year, we highly recommend upgrading to Windows 11 sooner rather than later. This transition will immediately unlock features that can enhance your processes and streamline your team’s tasks. 

If you anticipate needing to replace older machines that won’t support Windows 11, wouldn’t you prefer to know sooner rather than later? We can conduct a quick check to assess their compatibility, allowing you to budget for replacement hardware well before the deadline arrives. 

Whether you’re considering the move to Windows 11 or exploring alternative options, we’re here to facilitate a smooth and hassle-free transition. Don’t hesitate to get in touch; we’re ready to assist you every step of the way. 

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Contact us to learn more about our cyber security solutions, request a consultation, or share your thoughts on our blog content. We’re here to assist you in protecting your business from evolving cyber threats.

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