By Dan Ackerman
Still running Windows 10? Don't worry, you're not alone. By some counts around 70 percent of PCs are still running Windows 10, an operating system that made its debut in 2015. Microsoft claims there are a total of about 1.4 billion Windows PCs running worldwide, so that's a lot of outdated computers out there.
But even if having an older OS isn't a problem for you right now, it will be. Microsoft plans to end support for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025, with the company saying: "Windows 10 will reach end of support on October 14, 2025. The current version, 22H2, will be the final version of Windows 10, and all editions will remain in support with monthly security update releases through that date."
That goes for most versions of Windows 10, including Home, Pro, Pro Workstation, Enterprise, and Education.
This is important because Windows 10 will no longer receive security updates after October 2025, which are an absolute must-have. This leaves Windows 10 users vulnerable to potential security threats and compatibility issues with new software and hardware. As a result, there are compelling reasons to finally upgrade to Windows 11 or invest in a new laptop or desktop that comes with Windows 11 pre-installed.
The easy answer for many of us running Windows 10 is to upgrade to Windows 11. It's free, reasonably easy, and offers a lot of features not found in Windows 10, from Copilot AI to Android app support.
But not every PC running Windows 10 can make the leap. The system requirements for Windows 11 are tighter, as some people discovered in 2021 when Windows 11 was released, including the need for a TPM (trusted platform module) chip. You'll have to run a compatibility checker first to see if your hardware is compatible. (If it's not, there are still workarounds, but it's not an ideal choice).
Even if your Windows 10 PC can upgrade to 11, if you haven't done so yet, maybe there's a good reason. A laptop from somewhere between 2015 and 2021 is already going to be getting old, and a laptop that's hitting four or more years in age is probably ready for an upgrade.
The good news is there's still 20-plus months to figure out a game plan, be it updating the OS or getting a new Windows 11 PC. But with a new generation of AI-ready chips from Intel, AMD and Qualcomm coming our way in 2024 and beyond, it's a good time to trade up for newer hardware.
Micro Center Editor-in-Chief Dan Ackerman is a veteran tech reporter and has served as Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo and Editorial Director at CNET. He's been testing and reviewing laptops and other consumer tech for almost 20 years and is the author of The Tetris Effect, a Cold War history of the world's most influential video game. Contact Dan at [email protected].
Its definitely an end of an era! i already made the switch and loving windows 11
This is going to be a crazy time when everyone needs to update their machine!
Good things always come to an end. I'm glad Microsoft has been putting more effort into making Windows 11 more accessible. I've been using 11 for almost a year now and I'm happy with the new style.
Windows 11 is great, they've made awesome improvements since launch and I don't think anyone should be afraid to make that leap.
Great write up and I personally made the leap to Windows 11 after the first AMD fixing patch was released.
still running Windows 10 but getting ready to make the jump to Windows 11.
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