By continuing to use the site or forum, you agree to the use of cookies, find out more by reading our GDPR policy

I was not surprised when Microsoft sent Neowin an email about the Extended Security Program for Windows 10, which will grant the operating system three more years of support after the end of its mainstream support in late 2025. After all, the program is not a new concept—it is a solid tool for organizations that are not ready to upgrade to a more recent release. Pay Microsoft money, get updates, and you are golden. That was the case with Windows XP and Windows 7, two legendary operating systems (Windows 7's ESU program ended in January 2023). What was surprising is that Microsoft was about to let "regular customers" join the Extended Security Updates program for a currently undisclosed fee. For context, Windows 10 is an extremely popular desktop operating system with more than one billion monthly active devices. For comparison, Windows 11, after two years on the market, is installed on only 400 million+ computers. A solid chunk of Windows 10's market share sticks to the old OS only because Microsoft is not force-upgrading them. And even though Microsoft has not made its plans clear, you can safely assume the company will start upgrading eligible Windows 10 users to Windows 11 somewhere in mid-2025, if not earlier. With Windows 11 having steep hardware requirements, millions of computers, if not hundreds of millions, will remain forever on Windows 10 unless their owners opt for experiments with installing an unsupported OS or Linux. Microsoft knows how big of a problem the situation is. To mitigate it, the company decided to let customers pay for the extended support, a privilege previously available only to enterprise customers. That might become an issue.  If you are a PC or tech enthusiast, you know how important it is to use supported software in the modern world. You are most likely running the latest Windows version with Windows Update left untouched. Sadly, not every Windows user is like you. To be fair, most "regular consumers" rarely pay attention to Windows updates unless they break things.  Microsoft understands the situation, and you will be excused for imagining the final Windows 10 updates delivering a payload of banners and notifications warning users about the inevitable end of support and Extended Security Updates program ads. Microsoft is not shying away from ads in Windows 11, Edge, and other products, so there is no reason to believe it will not fill Windows 10 with more banners. Most likely, Windows 10's final months of mainstream support will turn into a constant fight with ads and notifications. Do not get me wrong. I understand that Microsoft has no other choice. After all, the company has to notify its customers, who are often stubborn or completely indifferent. Still, we are talking about a company that is not shy of injecting ads into the Chrome website just to make people stick to Edge. Do you expect it to be "gentle?" I can only imagine scammers reading the news on December 5, 2023, and shouting in joy. It will soon become much easier to scam inexperienced people. Paid Windows 10 support, what a gift from Microsoft. Just buy me ten Amazon gift cards to continue receiving updates and keeping your computer free from viruses. Sure, sure, bad people will always find a way to make one willingly give their money. But that will be much easier in 2025 and onward (I can bet someone somewhere is already getting scammed). Therefore, get ready to upgrade your grandma's laptop or read a lecture about digital hygiene. I guess the silver lining is that we will get more good content on YouTube, where clever content makers annoy scammers and waste their time. For more detailed information visit OUR FORUM.