Microsoft Announces Paid Extended Security Support for Windows 10
Microsoft this week announced a lifeline for those who will not be ready to transition from Windows 10 to Windows 11 by the OS's end of support on Oct. 14, 2025.
For those willing to pay, the company will offer Extended Security Updates (ESU) as a yearly subscriptions for Windows 10. Microsoft had previously run a similar program for Windows 7 after its end of support in January 2020.
As with the previous program, Windows 10's ESU will only feature security-related fixes and will not include feature updates, design changes or technical support. While Microsoft has not indicated how much the service will cost, it has identified two use cases in which the extended support may be free:
- For Windows 365 customers, ESUs will be provided for the Windows 10 devices that connect to a Cloud PC running Windows 11 at no additional cost.
- If you run a Windows 10 instance in Azure Virtual Desktop, ESUs will also be available at no additional charge on those virtual machines (consumption not included).
Furthermore, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise users will continue to receive updates even after the end of support date based on their license agreement.
While the price for Windows 10's ESU has not been disclosed, Microsoft said that its yearly subscriptions can be renewed for a total of three years. If Windows 7's ESU is any indication, the subscription cost will be on a per-device basis and will increase in cost with every subsequent year.
New this time around is Microsoft's extension of Windows 10 ESU to consumer Windows 10 license users. This possibly could be due to the hardware-related requirements needed to upgrade to Windows 11. In lieu of subscribing to Windows 10's ESU, Microsoft has an alternative: buy a Windows 11-ready device.
"For devices that aren’t eligible for Windows 11, or older devices due for a refresh, now is the time to transition to new PCs running Windows 11," wrote Jason Leznek, Principal Product Manager, Windows Servicing and Delivery. "New modern devices from partners like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Surface and the rest of the Windows ecosystem offer a wide range of options to suit different worker needs."
Further, enterprises and consumers with ineligible devices can transition to Windows 11 by subscribing to Windows 365, giving those in Microsoft's cloud the flexibility to upgrade to the latest OS or continue to receive Windows 10 ESU through their subscription.