RELEASE: Microsoft offers extended Windows 10 support, with added cost

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PIRG campaign prompts tech giant to provide security updates for longer

NEW YORK — Microsoft announced Tuesday that to prevent e-waste, it would offer to extend security updates for Windows 10, with additional costs for schools, businesses and individuals. The decision comes after PIRG delivered more than 20,000 petition signatures from people asking Microsoft to extend support. Support for Windows 10 ends at the end of 2025, which could have caused people to throw out more computers than any other single reason ever. Up to 400 million of the 1 billion Windows 10 devices in use are set to lose support from Microsoft.

This effort follows PIRG’s successful campaign that pushed Google to extend support for short-lived Chromebooks to 10 years.

“We’re stuck on a disposability treadmill, replacing tech before we should. Abandoning Windows 10 and leaving hundreds of millions of computers behind is one particularly harmful example,” said PIRG’s Designed to Last Campaign Director Lucas Rockett Gutterman. “Microsoft has made a step in the right direction by offering paid security updates for the millions of people who can’t upgrade their computers. However, automatically extending support would do more to prevent e-waste.”

Microsoft’s paid Extended Security Update (ESU) program for Windows 10 will start in 2025. Enrolling in the program will cost a fee, the details of which will be released closer to 2025. The ESU program will be available for three years for schools, public sector organizations and small to mid-sized businesses, and one year for individuals, with possible extensions depending on demand.

“We welcome Microsoft’s response to public concern about the environmental impact of its decision,” concluded Gutterman. “Our campaign will continue pushing them to automatically provide support to prevent junking millions of PCs. We hope other tech companies will follow Microsoft and Google and start taking responsibility for the growing piles of toxic e-waste caused by short-lived software.”

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