Microsoft make major Windows 10 U-turn ahead of end-of-support in 2025

Windows 10 retail box casting a shadow on a blue backdrop
(Image credit: Microsoft / Laptop Mag)

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced it was opening the Windows 10 Beta Channel for Windows insiders. The news follows a November 2023 announcement that Microsoft intends to maximize the value of Windows 10 by "revisiting" a previous decision to not release any larger updates for the operating system beyond version 22H2.

It seems that Microsoft still has plans for Windows 10, despite wanting to migrate as many users of the operating system to Windows 11 as possible ahead of its end-of-support date in 2025. But what does this news really mean for Windows 10 users, and how much more life can they expect to squeeze out of Microsoft's aging operating system? Let's find out.

Windows 10 Beta Channel opens: What does it mean?

Does Microsoft's reversal on bringing further updates to Windows 11 mean we can expect a 24H2 update to coincide with Windows 11 24H2? That's unlikely. Microsoft's Windows Insider Blog states that the Beta Channel will allow them to "Try out new features for Windows 10, version 22H2."

Windows 10 version 22H2 was the last major update for the operating system and was released on October 18, 2022. Despite Microsoft's openness to bringing new features to Windows 10, the platform will likely remain on this version for the foreseeable future.

However, this does allow Microsoft to at least profit from Windows 10's sizable user base — while those running Windows 10 are unlikely to have the hardware available to test some of Microsoft's on-device AI-focused features, they could be of great use for testing and trialing cloud-based AI applications like Copilot.

We don't have any specific details to share about what kinds of features Microsoft is looking to bring to Windows 10 users through the Beta Channel program as of yet. However, it would be interesting to see several Windows 11 features make their way to the platform — which would align with Microsoft's goal to "maximize the value" of its aging operating system.

If you want to sign up for the Windows 10 Beta Channel and learn about how to set up your system to receive the latest updates as they arrive, head to the Windows Blog for full instructions and further information about system requirements.

Windows 10 BSOD saying "It's not you, it's me."

Despite Microsoft's interest in bringing new features to the platform, Windows 10's October 14, 2025 end-of-support date remains unchanged. (Image credit: Microsoft / Laptop Mag)

Is there a future for Windows 10?

Although Microsoft has opened the Windows 10 Beta Channel, meaning new features will at the very least be tested in the future, there doesn't appear to be any plans for the company to push back Windows 10's end-of-support date of October 14, 2025. After this date, Windows 10 will no longer receive free software updates, and security fixes, or be covered for technical assistance.

Despite Windows 10's overwhelming popularity with Windows users, Microsoft is unlikely to end its staunch push to get customers to upgrade to Windows 11.

While Windows 10 has faithfully served a large portion of PC and laptop owners since July 2015, its relatively low hardware requirements have left it out of the loop for some of Microsoft's more impressive updates to the Windows platform in recent years.

There are now more reasons to upgrade to Windows 11 than ever, especially as Microsoft continues to push forward with the popularization of AI and Copilot+ PCs. However, for those who want to remain on Windows 10 beyond the operating system's end-of-support date, Microsoft will offer continued security updates — for a price.

Windows 10 Extended Security Updates

A Microsoft Tech Community post earlier in the year revealed that business users will be able to sign up for an extended support program that costs $61 per device for the first year. However, that initial pricing doubles annually, reaching $122 in year two and $244 in year three of support.

A word of warning to those interested: signing up for the extended support program will also need to pay for any previous years, as Microsoft sees its extended support updates as "cumulative." This means that jumping in on year three's security updates wouldn't cost you $244, but $427.

Microsoft has yet to reveal end-of-support extended security support prices for non-business customers.

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Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.