Over the weekend, Microsoft discreetly updated a document on its website, revealing that support for Windows 10 Home and Pro would be phased off on October 14, 2025.
The news comes just days before Microsoft’s “What’s Next Windows” event on June 24, and as CEO Satya Nadella has hinted that a significant new version of Windows is on the way.
Because Windows 10 was launched in 2015, 2025 would fall inside Microsoft’s normal 10-year support period for operating system versions.
Microsoft may use a new version of Windows to stoke a PC market that has been stoked by the epidemic.
“With more people working remotely now and 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,” said Michael Cherry, a Windows analyst at Directions on Microsoft, an independent IT advisory service focused exclusively on Microsoft products.
“However, compelling features like improved security or the ability to enable a new class of apps are required to truly generate momentum to upgrade an OS,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Change cannot just be for the sake of change.”
Any Other Name for Windows
In the past, the next edition of Windows would have a straightforward name: Windows 11. When Windows 10 was released, however, Microsoft said that it would be the last version with a number. This has sparked discussion over whether Microsoft would abandon Windows as its operating system’s moniker.
“If they did, I wouldn’t be shocked. It’s definitely past time for a rebranding, “TechNewsWorld spoke with Jim McGregor, the founder and senior analyst of Tirias Research, high-tech research and consulting company based in Phoenix.
Cherry thinks Microsoft will keep the Windows brand in some form since it has considerable value.
“They may be better off removing the 10 and making Windows the only name of the operating system, with some other name or code name indicating a certain release or version,” he added.
When Apple switched from OS X to macOS, it did just that. macOS versions are named after locations, such as Sierra and Monterey.
“Keep in mind that there are versions — Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 — as well as editions — Home, Pro, and Enterprise — to make the naming more complicated than it has to be,” he said.
“It would be fantastic if they dropped the editions,” he said, “but editions are utilized to create a feature and price difference.”
Do you have to pay for Windows?
Pricing for the next Windows may be a problem.
“Microsoft has kept the same business model because it’s been a cash cow,” McGregor noted. “However, as Microsoft goes toward more cloud services, their model is changing, so it’s not unexpected to see their Windows model shift as well.”
He said, “I’d attempt to wrap it into a package that contains other goods.” “So it’s not only Windows you’re paying for. You’re paying for Office as well as a slew of other programs.”
“You’re paying for a suite,” he added, “just as you pay for cable TV now.” “You’ll receive a lot of junk you don’t want, but if you want cable, you’ll pay the monthly price. If that isn’t the case, I’ll be shocked.”
The cost of the OS is incorporated into the purchase price if the OS is preloaded on a PC, according to Cherry.
“For individuals who already have a device that can run the new OS, it becomes a question of whether the goal is to drive new OS sales or to retain people on an OS rather than moving to a rival OS,” he added.
“There will most likely be a combination of free for those who are on a presently supported version and perhaps a fee for laggards who are not on a currently supported version,” he said.
Windows Subscription Service is a service that allows you to subscribe to Windows
Although Microsoft will continue to charge PC makers who preinstall Windows on their machines because this is a significant source of revenue for the company, Ross Rubin, the principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City, believes that upgrades to the new OS will be free.
In certain instances, even the cost of reinstalling the operating system may be avoided. In an effort to compete with the iPad, Microsoft, for example, eliminating the cost of installing Windows on tablets.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a cost waiver for some Chromebook-like PC designs,” Rubin told TechNewsWorld.
Microsoft may take a hybrid approach to sell the next OS, he said.
“Because Microsoft has so many different versions of Windows — home, professional, and enterprise,” he said, “it’s possible that they’ll make a basic version of Windows accessible for free, and then charge you if you want more capabilities.”
Could this be a price option for the next Windows, given how many businesses, including Microsoft, have grown preoccupied with collecting monthly fees for software?
“Forcing a membership charge only for Windows would make it extremely difficult for them to compete against Apple and Google,” Rubin said.
Sunset is adaptable
Although Windows 10’s stated end-of-life date is October 2025, there may be some wriggle space in that timeframe.
“They typically maintain a Windows version for two years or so after it is officially discontinued to allow businesses time to transition,” McGregor said. “Consumers, on the other hand, may never convert.”
Microsoft has a history of extending support for Windows versions well beyond the stated expiration date, according to Rubin.
“Given how long Windows 10 has been the flagship operating system — and how large its installed base is,” he added, “it wouldn’t be shocking to see that date pushed out.”
He went on to say, “Sometimes it has to do with the absorption of whatever follows after it.” “If the next version doesn’t go over well, Microsoft may decide to keep Windows 10 around for a little longer.”
“It will likely follow a similar trajectory to Windows 7 and Windows 10 if it is a strong solid version that supports current apps and allows new applications or processes,” Cherry said. “It will most likely follow Windows 8 if the OS is unreliable or the changes are too dramatic or boring.”