You Can Either Pay In Money, Or Insecurity
Microsoft have put in place a program for those that want to stick with Windows 10, similar to the one for Windows 7 many years back. If you want to stay on Windows 10 you still have a bit of time before you need to make a decision, however October 14, 2025 is not really all that far away if you need to pull off a complete migration or fix an app that refuses to run on Windows 11.
There is one interesting difference Microsoft will include with the Windows 10 Extended Security Updates program, it will be available to individual home users as well as businesses. In the past Microsoft required you to have a licensing program with them in order to qualify for their ESU program. The program will give those that purchase coverage three more years of monthly security updates and technical support, which you pay for a year at a time.
Windows Servicing and Delivery Principal Product Manager Jason Leznek did not reveal the yearly price of the Windows 10 ESU to Ars Technica, so it is hard to guess what the choice to stay on Windows 10 will cost you financially. If you don’t pay you will stop receiving security updates, apart from some possible exceptions as Microsoft have bent the rules previously for very severe bugs. This is a different type of cost, with your only protection being the hope that your machine somehow escapes the notice of hackers on the web.
If the program follows similar rules as the Win7 ESU, you will have to have bought the first year in order to be eligible to pay for year two and you must have bought the previous two to get year three coverage. You can’t try to save a bit of money by skipping a year and getting all the updates at once. Yes, after the third year the program ends and you will quickly become vulnerable to any new attacks developed after that final patch.