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Microsoft To Charge an Annual Fee for Windows 10 Support from 2025

Millions of Windows 10 users are facing a new challenge with Microsoft’s decision to discontinue free support for the operating system. Users must now decide between upgrading to Windows 11 or paying an annual fee for Extended Security Updates (ESU) to continue using Windows 10. This financial constraint is expected to impact a significant portion of the user base, as Windows 10 currently holds around 60% of the market share.

Support for Windows 10 is scheduled to cease on October 14, 2025. Following this deadline, users are advised to make the switch to Windows 11. Alternatively, users can opt to pay an annual fee of approximately $61 for the ESU program. This marks the first time that Microsoft is offering a paid option for additional security updates to users and businesses.

Furthermore, the ESU subscription fees are cumulative. The initial fee of $61 applies for the first year, doubling to $122 for the second year, and reaching $244 for the third year. Users who enroll in the ESU program during the second year will be required to pay the fees for both the first and second years due to the cumulative nature of the charges. Microsoft is providing a 25% discount for businesses and reduced rates for educational institutions.

Despite the introduction of Windows 11, Windows 10 remains a widely used operating system. While transitioning to Windows 11 can be costly, an ESU subscription may present a more economical option. Additionally, older devices may not be compatible with Windows 11, making an ESU subscription a viable choice.

Typically reserved for organizations needing to maintain older Windows versions, ESU subscriptions are now available to the general public for the first time due to the large number of users still relying on the Windows 10 OS.

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