- Microsoft has announced the sale of Windows 10 licenses will cease on 31st January 2023.
- This is seemingly in preparation for the operating system’s end of life on 14th October 2025.
- Windows 10 users can upgrade to Windows 11 for free, provided their system meets the minimum requirements for installation.
As reported by several publications including Engadget, Microsoft has added a notice to its Windows 10 product page which reads, “January 31, 2023 will be the last day this Windows 10 download is offered for sale. Windows 10 will remain supported with security updates that help protect your PC from viruses, spyware and other malware until October 14, 2025.”
Microsoft had announced Windows 10’s end of life before it had even officially revealed Windows 11.
While Microsoft has phased out its operating systems before, we suspect that the end of life of Windows 10 will be more noteworthy. This is because Windows 11 has a number of requirements many older PCs simply don’t have such as a Trusted Platform Module.
This may not be an issue for the family computer in the living room, but for an enterprise running tens of thousands of Windows machines, upgrading to Windows 11 would require additional investment into new hardware.
Back in June, Lansweeper analysed 30 million Windows devices from 60 000 organisations and found that 4.74 percent of workstations don’t meet Windows 11’s requirements. At the time, Stat Counter reported that Windows 11 accounted for just under 11 percent of the Windows market share, on par with the ancient Windows 7.
Those figures have improved slightly with Windows 11 now accounting for 16.97 percent of the total Windows OS market.
It is interesting to note that the Windows 10 market share is falling. Whether those users are moving to Windows 11 or another operating system is unclear.
The good news is that if you already have Windows 10, upgrading to Windows 11 is free. You will, of course, need to check that your system meets the requirements but if it does, simply follow the prompts Microsoft gives you when you are eligible for an upgrade.
We’ve been using Windows 11 since it launched in 2021 and the operating system is… fine. It works as intended and the improvements implemented are nice. We’re still waiting for marquee features such as the ability to run Android apps natively but at least the core of the operating system is fine.
While Microsoft may stop selling licenses for Windows 10, there will be folks trying to flog licences online. We urge you to exercise caution in this regard as you could buy a license only for it to not work when you go to activate your operating system.