Microsoft has revealed that it is planning to end Windows 10 support on the 14th of October, 2025. The revelation comes just before Microsoft’s “What’s Next Windows” event scheduled for June 24 and amidst hints from CEO Satya Nadella that a major new version of Windows is in the wings. Windows 10 was originally released in 2015, so 2025 would be in the typical 10-year time frame Microsoft allots to supporting an operating system version. A new version of Windows could be Microsoft’s way of stoking a PC market made hot by the pandemic.
“With more people working remotely, and likely to continue to do so in the future, there may be increased interest in replacing existing PCs or acquiring new PCs, and a new major release of an operating system can keep people interested in new hardware,” observed Michael Cherry, a Windows analyst at Directions on Microsoft, an independent IT advisory service focused exclusively on Microsoft based in Kirkland, Wash. “But it requires compelling features, such as improvements to security or enabling a new class of applications to really drive momentum to change an OS,” he told. He further said, “It cannot merely be change for the sake of change.”
In the old days, the name of the next version of Windows would be simple: Windows 11. But when Windows 10 was introduced, Microsoft declared it would be the last version with a number. That’s led to speculation about whether Microsoft will drop Windows as the name for its operating system. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. It’s probably time for a branding update,” Jim McGregor, founder and principal analyst at Tirias Research, a high-tech research and advisory firm in Phoenix has said.
Moreover pricing could be an issue for the new Windows. “Microsoft has retained the same business model because it’s been a cash cow, but as Microsoft moves on toward more cloud services, their model has been changing, so it’s not surprising to see their Windows model change as well,” observed McGregor.
Although the official sunset date for Windows 10 is in October 2025, there may be some wiggle room in that deadline. “After a Windows version is officially retired, they usually support it for two years or so to give enterprises time to change,” McGregor noted. Rubin, the principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City, explained that Microsoft has a history of extending support for versions of Windows many years beyond the announced sunset date.
“If it is a good solid release, supports existing applications, and enables new applications or workflows, it will likely follow a similar trajectory to Windows 7 and Windows 10,” added Cherry. “If the OS is unstable or the changes are too drastic or uninteresting then it will likely follow Windows 8.”