RELEASE: Microsoft extends life of Windows 10 for $1

Media Contacts

NEW YORK — Microsoft announced Tuesday that schools can pay as little as $1 per computer to extend their Windows 10 security updates. The decision comes after PIRG delivered more than 20,000 petition signatures calling on Microsoft to extend the life of computers with Windows 10 operating systems. The campaign follows PIRG’s successful effort to extend support for Google Chromebooks to 10 years. By paying $1 per computer for the first year, $2 the following year, and $4 the third year, schools can keep Windows 10 computers in classrooms safe from attacks for three additional years. Small businesses and other commercial customers will need to pay $61 in the first year, a cost that will double each year thereafter. The price for individuals has not yet been announced.

“With the UN’s recent announcement that electronic waste is growing five times faster than recycling, it’s irresponsible to toss working computers just because their software has expired. Abandoning Windows 10 and rendering 400 million computers useless could cause the biggest jump in junked computers ever,” said PIRG’s Designed to Last Campaign Director Lucas Rockett Gutterman. “Microsoft’s affordable extension to schools is a positive step but automatically extending the life of these computers for everyone is the best way to cut down the toxic e-waste overwhelming our landfills.”

Some 40% of PCs in use can’t upgrade to Windows 11, so when Microsoft stops providing security updates for Windows 10 in 2025, those computers will either be insecure or pushed into the waste stream. The United Nations 2024 Electronic Waste Monitor found that only 25% of electronic waste such as laptops and computers are recycled, meaning most of these devices will end up in the trash.

“Microsoft has set ambitious environmental goals, but the impact of this one decision threatens to derail its progress toward achieving them,” said Gutterman. “The manufacturing of these hundreds of millions of devices has already resulted in 46 million tons of carbon pollution. That’s unsustainable. It’s critical for our climate to keep these computers working.”

PIRG’s Lucas Rockett Gutterman at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA attempts to deliver 20,000 petition signatures. (Ultimately delivered electronically.)Photo by Staff | TPIN