Windows 10 Supported Until 2020, Extended Until 2025

Subject: General Tech | July 17, 2015 - 09:16 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10

Microsoft announced the upgrade strategy of Windows 10 in their January consumer press conference. If the promotion is claimed within the first year, the new operating system would be a free upgrade to users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.x “for the supported lifetime of the device”. The internet combined “the first year” with “for the supported lifetime of the device” to speculate that Microsoft would charge a license or subscription from then on.

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The bandaids will keep coming until 2020 (features) or 2025 (security)

Now, less than two weeks before launch, Microsoft has released an official statement on the matter. Windows 10 will be supported until 2020 with extended support reaching out to 2025.

This does not mean that every device will be supported until then, though. In order to receive new updates, the user needs to install every update prior to that update, because they are cumulative. If a device is incompatible with an update, and the affected manufacturer is not willing to fix the problem, then Microsoft will not make a special support branch just for you.

But if an OEM has stopped supporting a device, yet Microsoft updates don't break anything, then you can still receive updates for Microsoft. Again, the clause is just for the case where Microsoft's updates are incompatible with your device -- it is not Microsoft's responsibility to keep giving you updates for the manufacturer's problems until the OS gets end-of-lifed.

This does lead to some concerns, though. Imagine that Microsoft pushes a build which disables developer sideloading and Win32 support, locking Windows 10 down to a Windows RT state. If you are even capable of blocking that update, Microsoft will likely not allow you to receive security patches. On the other hand, I don't exactly blame Microsoft for branching the operating system for each individual milestone. Doing something like killing support for Win32 would also be pretty brazen, although it looked like Windows 8.x was on that trajectory when it relegated the Desktop as an “app”... and one which all Win32 software required to survive.

So freedom advocates will have some things to think about, but those concerned about “free as in beer” can sleep a little easier. They will continue updating you for as long as the hardware supports it, until at least 2020 for features (at least 2025 for security). Beyond that time, it depends on whether Microsoft will charge for upgrades to whatever the next version is. Will it be a free milestone (think service pack)? Or will it be classified as Windows 11 with an upgrade or subscription fee? Who knows.

Source: ZDnet

July 17, 2015 | 10:04 PM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

Windows 8.2 strikes :-P

December 2, 2015 | 12:12 PM - Posted by JCCIII

“Windows 8.2 strikes”; exactly...

July 18, 2015 | 01:10 AM - Posted by Hakuren

2020-25 is about the time that silicon based microprocessors will scheduled to be on the verge of extinction. There is not much fuel left in this thing and after 2020 what's next optic or quantum. Who knows? Certainly with brand new silicon-free architecture there will be no more Windows (or any other OS for that matter) as we know it (them) today. No amount of Service Packs will help you if there are quantum computers working nearby. All current encryptions and safety features can be broken in less than a second (or up to a few sec). That's the power of quantum computing.

July 18, 2015 | 05:46 PM - Posted by comnut (not verified)

It's a nice dream, sorry, but I don't see ANY evidence of anything more advanced yet, and even if a working sample was produced today, it would take longer than 5 years for it to 'filter down' to the average user...

and even then as there are still many using win95 and xp, unless there is a revolutionary recovery of the worldwide recession, it just won't happen...

July 18, 2015 | 05:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Isn't win 10 meant to be the last version of windows? What happened to lifetime updates for the device's lifespan?
MS are just making it up as they go as usual.

July 18, 2015 | 10:10 AM - Posted by arbiter

um 10 years is pretty standard. A lot better then the 2 years max Apple give's ya.

July 18, 2015 | 05:48 PM - Posted by comnut (not verified)

but isn't the new apple OS downloaded for free??? you just need to have bought a system...

July 18, 2015 | 07:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

We can pretty safely say that "killing Win32" is going to happen sometime after the heat-death of the universe. Windows lives on it's use in business & enterprise. If MS suddenly dropped support for Win32 requiring them to rewrite their software stacks, the more likely outcome would be moving straight to another OS (likely Linux to avoid paying a license fee) than to a new Windows API.

It's the same reason x86 is here to stay for the long run.

July 18, 2015 | 11:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No that windows 10 will morph into a paid service, sure it will be supported for 10 years, 5 for improvements another 5 added to that for continued security updates. So the fishes reading this will think that windows 10 is just like the previous versions, but on the EULA it says that turning down the "offer" of the other updates that are not security oriented will not be allowed, and there will only be the option of delaying the inevitable! Users of 10 will find out that those non security updates that are eventually mandatory "Updates" will be possibly removing some functionality and moving it behind the virtual M$ store's counter and will need to be purchased possibly as a service. Welcome to the M$ Windows 5 and Dime(10) store and your new service plan. Sure things will look the same, and M$ will talk the same old line, but that EULA is what spells out the relation ship between the User and that User's hardware that has the 10 OS installed, after clicking the accept button. Some "Updates" can take away just as well as adding to, and M$ hopes and prays you only see that added to and not the subtracted from that will come part and parcel with accepting that new EULA.

July 18, 2015 | 06:25 PM - Posted by DaveSimonH

So why were they spouting "this is our last OS" nonsense if w10 has end of mainstream & extended support dates, like every other Windows OS?

July 18, 2015 | 09:31 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

They do this within a single OS release. Windows XP, XP with Service Pack 2, and Windows XP with Service Pack 3 each had different lifecycle dates IIRC.

Also, this could be extended. Even if they still call it Windows 10, Microsoft could just be commiting to a minimum.

July 19, 2015 | 12:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Its just more obfuscation from M$ to daze and confuse the potential 10 users out there, and It will work for some that do not pay attention to the EULA! What's in a name or a number anyways, what has to be understood is the EULA and its terms and conditions, and in whatever user options and features are being removed in the name of "Security" and "Progress". That "FREE" has to be funded some way, and just what information will be obtained from those non security updates, that the user will have no option to reject, will there be adware in the making to be pushed out from windows update, with ad content pushed through BING and its BING desktop! The tiles are still there and they will still have the capability to display ad content, and of course there will be the mandatory M$ store! Will there be in-app, or even in-desktop-application, purchases with the press of a button, via the always on cloud umbilical from 10 to the M$ cloud, and no definite way to permanently turn off the metrics gathering, even with a registry hack, least one of those non security mandatory updates turn it right back on!

I'm not ready to give M$ the wheel and let them control my hardware. Hardware that I did not directly purchase from M$, and at least there is a way to avoid Apple's closed ecosystem, but we are talking about M$ getting the ultimate control over third party "Independently" produced hardware from third party OEMs not officially owned by M$. It's no wonder that Valve has produced Steam OS, Gabe saw it coming and took the action to avoid getting the royal treatment, the royal treatment that is specifically reserved for the peasants and surfs!

July 18, 2015 | 10:20 PM - Posted by HERETIC (not verified)

But are they going to give updates for FREE for 10 years?????

July 19, 2015 | 04:03 PM - Posted by Dolan (not verified)

Read Paul Thurrot response to that article

July 19, 2015 | 02:02 AM - Posted by Holyneo's (not verified)

They will support it till the next xbox is released. Since xbox and pc will be able to play with one another when win 10 comes out. Just throwing my 2 cents in here, not facts, just guessing. :)

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