Microsoft’s Hard-Sell Pitch to Windows 10 Users With PCs Ineligible for Windows 11

Tom Warren, writing at The Verge:

Microsoft is trying to entice Windows 10 users to upgrade to Windows 11 with fullscreen prompts 18 months before the end of support cutoff. Reddit user Woopinah9 spotted a notification “while in the middle of working,” where Microsoft thanks Windows 10 “customers” for their loyalty with a full-screen message and then explains the end of support date. You might be expecting a free upgrade as part of this interruption, but unfortunately for this Reddit user, their PC can’t upgrade to Windows 11, so it’s more “hey check out this cool thing we have! oh but you cant have it,” as one Redditor puts it.

Upon reading this lede, I was more or less thinking “Eh, so what?” Interruptions in the middle of working are annoying, so notifications like this should only appear after a restart or login, at the beginning of work session. That’s a legit gripe. But the basic gist — that Windows 10 is approaching end-of-life for updates, including security fixes, in 18 months, and your PC doesn’t meet the requirements for upgrading to Windows 11 — is something users should be notified about. And it’s not like Microsoft is pulling the plug on Windows 10 early — it shipped in July 2015.

But then I read on:

Surprisingly, Microsoft’s full-screen prompt doesn’t directly mention that consumers will be able to continue securely using the operating system beyond October 14th, 2025, if they’re willing to pay. Microsoft revealed last week that it will cost businesses $61 per device for the first year of Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 10. This then doubles to $122 for the second year and then doubles again in year three to $244.

Microsoft hasn’t detailed ESU pricing for consumers yet, but the company did previously reveal it will offer these extended updates to consumers for the first time ever. Schools will be offered a big discount, with Microsoft offering a $1 license for year one, which then doubles to $2 for year two and doubles again to $4 for the third year. Hopefully, non-business users of Windows 10 will get similar discounts, but Microsoft says it will share details “at a later date.”

What a racket. If Microsoft has engineers working on Windows 10 updates, everyone should get them. It’s wild to think there are teams in Redmond concocting ways to squeeze customers out of money for updates to decade-old PCs.

Friday, 12 April 2024