Microsoft will stop downloads of Windows 10 at the end of this month but will continue to provide support and security updates to existing users till October 2025. This means users will no longer be able to download Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro edition from Microsoft’s website.
“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 said on its updated Windows 10 products page.
Released in July 2015, Windows 10 currently accounts for 67.95% of all Windows installs as of December, according to Statcounter data. The latest version Windows 11, which was released in October 2021, only accounts for only 16.97% of the installs.
Discontinuing sales of previous versions of Windows is a common practice used by Microsoft to phase out older operating systems and encourage users to upgrade to the latest version. Every version gets minimum 10 years of support. That said, users can still get a copy of Windows 10 from third-party stores or in older laptops that still come preloaded with Windows 10.
Many are still using much older versions of Windows. According to Statcounter, Windows 7, which stopped getting all updates in 2020, still accounts for 11.2% of installs.
Though users who already have Windows 10 can upgrade to Windows 11 for free, upgrading to it also requires certain hardware upgrades, which can mean upgrading to a new PC to take advantage of all its features. Before the launch of Windows 11, Microsoft had said that it requires minimum hardware configuration such as an embedded trusted platform module (TPM) and support for secure boot. TMP is a specialised chip used to store encryption keys.