Windows 10 Is Nearing End of Support. Is Your Organization Prepared?

Microsoft announced in December that Windows 10 will reach end of support in October 2025. Those who rely on the operating system will no longer receive essential security updates, bug fixes or technical support unless they migrate to Windows 11 and they sign up for escalating maintenance fees.

The Extended Security Update program for devices running Windows 10 enables enterprises to continue receiving monthly security updates by paying $61 per device for one year after the end-of-support date. “The price will double every consecutive year, for a maximum of three years. If you decide to jump into the program in Year Two, you’ll have to pay for Year One too, as ESUs are cumulative,” according to Microsoft.

Enterprises running Windows 10 on their PCs and other devices can upgrade their device software to Microsoft’s newer offering, as long as those devices meet Windows 11 hardware specs.

Microsoft’s hardware checklist for Windows 11 means that one-third of an estimated 33 million Windows devices worldwide are not eligible for an automatic upgrade.

In order for a Windows 10 device to be upgraded, Microsoft requires it to have at least a 1 GHz processor and two or more cores on a 64-bit processor along with a minimum of 4 gigabytes of RAM and 64 gigabytes of memory to be eligible for a Windows 11 upgrade.

Microsoft is also requiring eligible workstations to run a modern Trusted Platform Module, or TPM 2.0, which supports a larger number of cryptographic algorithms to improve drive signing and key generation performance. Microsoft said TPM 2.0 is an important building block for security-related features in Windows 11.

Compatibility Issues
Leaders have to consider several critical factors before migrating their organizations’ Windows devices to the new operating system.

Windows 11 architecture is quite different from Windows 10, and IT personnel should take into account the new version’s compatibility with enterprise applications. One example is that Windows 11 enables TLS 1.3 by default but that may not support many in-house applications that are compatible with TLS 1.2 and older versions.

“Application compatibility is certainly a factor, especially for organizations operating in heavily regulated sectors,” said Deep Pandey, lead cybersecurity strategist at IT consulting company Coforge.

Organizations must plan for end of life for operating systems and software they rely on to avoid last-minute confusion and challenges.

If you have questions about IT security and the changing threat landscape, call ITPAC today.