Last year, Microsoft announced plans to retire their Windows 10 operating system (OS) to make way for the rollout of Windows 11.
Microsoft will continue to support several Windows 10 releases via Mainstream Support or Extended Support for a few years yet, however support for some Windows 10 releases has ended already.
Full information on Windows 10 end of life dates can be found here: https://endoflife.date/windows.
Microsoft are urging all eligible users to begin the upgrade to Windows 11 as soon as possible to ensure a smooth and stress-free migration.
Here’s some key information and top tips on how to fully prepare for Microsoft’s withdrawal of support for Windows 10…
When is the official Windows 10 end of life date?
Microsoft will continue to offer mainstream support for least one Windows 10 release (version 1507) until 14th October 2025. This date will mark just over 10 years since the operating system was first introduced.
After this date, Windows 10 will still be operational, however users will no longer receive incident or security update support or have the ability to request non-security updates.
This may also have an effect on businesses who employ IT support partners to manage their tech operations. IT support companies may not be able to help companies running end of life software if they encounter data breaches or other security vulnerabilities.
What is Microsoft Mainstream Support and Extended Support?
Mainstream Support is the first phase of the product lifecycle. Mainstream Support for products and services includes:
- Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims)
- Security update support
- The ability to request non-security updates
The Extended Support phase follows Mainstream Support. Extended Support includes:
- Security updates at no additional cost
- The ability to pay for support
What does the retirement of Windows 10 mean for users?
As mentioned, Windows 10 users won’t receive any security patches or support from Microsoft following the operating system’s retirement.
This may leave users open to cyber security threats and data losses. It will also mean devices running Windows 10 will become less reliable, which can lead to higher operational costs overall.
There’s also a greater possibility that new IT programs will not be compatible with older operating systems. New hardware and software manufacturers typically make product-design decisions that take advantage of the improved features of new operating systems, so Windows 10 users may experience compatibility issues after their version of Windows 10 becomes End-of-Life.
How to prepare for Windows 10 end of life
Most Windows 10 users will typically migrate to Windows 11. This should be done as soon as possible to ensure a smooth and stress-free transition. Check if your devices are compatible with Windows 11 on Microsoft’s website here.
- Compatible: If your business devices are compatible with Windows 11, start planning for them to be upgraded as soon as possible. This may involve backing up data, deleting unnecessary files and uninstalling unnecessary apps. This will help to make sure nothing is lost during the transition, and you can start working on the new OS with minimal fuss.
- Incompatible: If your business devices are not compatible with Windows 11, start planning to replace or upgrade them. This may involve a large upfront cost but will save on operational costs in the long run. It will also mean business your data will be secure and OS support will be available after 2025.
Why upgrade to Windows 11?
Windows 11 is Microsoft’s newest OS and has no current end-of-life date, so users can expect the new OS to receive support and updates for a long period of time.
Users who migrate to Windows 11 will continue to receive security patches on all versions of Windows 11, including enterprise versions and education editions.
If you choose not to update your operating systems to Windows 11, you could be putting your business and its data significantly at risk.
How much will upgrading to Windows 11 cost?
The upgrade to Windows 11 is free of charge for users who have eligible Windows 10 PCs with the minimum hardware specifications.
If all or some of your business devices are currently running older versions of Windows operating systems, such as Windows 7 or 8, you will first need to update them to Windows 10 before they can be upgraded to Windows 11.
Windows 11 feature & quality updates
As was the same with Windows 10, Windows 11 will continue to run both feature and quality updates.
The main updates, also known as feature updates, will occur annually, and are normally released in the second half of each calendar year.
Every new feature update always comes with at least 24 months of IT support, with this support period extending to 36 months for Enterprise and Education editions of the system.
To ensure that you always have access to the latest new features, experiences, and integrated security, we recommend that you install every new feature update as soon as it becomes available.
In comparison, quality updates can be downloaded on a monthly basis. These B release updates provide users with bug fixes and enhancements to amend any minor issues and keep the OS running smoothly throughout the year.
If you’d like to speak to us about the Windows 10 end of life plan, what IT support we offer for businesses, or our hardware and infrastructure services, please call us on 0800 84 999 84, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our full contact information can be found here: https://dvad.co.uk/contact-us/.