back to article PIRG petitions Microsoft to extend the life of Windows 10

The Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has delivered a petition to Microsoft calling on the company to rethink the impending abandonment of Windows 10 in the face of millions of PCs potentially being rendered eligible for landfill overnight. There are now less than two years until Microsoft is due to cut support for Windows …

  1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Updates are not that difficult

    Given the similarity in base code between Win 11 and Win 10, basic updates of Win 10 should not cost MS much.

    What I haven't got the answer to is how security updates differ between the two systems and how it would impact update costs. Potentially it would - or should - be a completely dissimilar code base due to the "much higher security" environment of win 11 ... unless that's a complete red herring that's only an issue in specific circumstances.

    Either way, MS have a difficult case to argue but they have done so quite happily up to now ...

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Updates are not that difficult

      Win10 is Win11 but with more native apps, and less "App Framework" apps. (And 11 has more Telemetry and more Ads). On Win10 you can safely uninstall ALL of the App Framework bloat, but doing so would break Win11.

      MS want to force everyone onto 11 so they can obsolete their native apps, force everyone to use a Microsoft Account, and get more telemetry data and sling more ads.

      The end of Win10 will be the end of Windows for many people. I've been a Linux man for 20 years but I can see more and more Windows refugees coming as Microsoft kettles its users into an Apple/Google model of forced cloud account and app store usage.

      1. PRR Silver badge

        Re: Updates are not that difficult

        > I can see more and more Windows refugees coming as Microsoft kettles its users

        No. Just no. Get over it. Folks will flee Windows, not to Linux, but to Android. (Yes, Android is an X-nix underneath, like my house is an old aboriginal shell-midden underneath, but we don't talk about that.)

        My neighbor's daughter got him a Win8 flaptop, which stalled on the next MS Update (it had JUST enough guts to do the Win8 it came with), so now he lives on his phone.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Updates are not that difficult

      "basic updates of Win 10 should not cost MS much."

      They cost them OEM sales. That's too much.

    3. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Updates are not that difficult

      Also, remember that Windows 10 LTSC and the various version of WIndows Server are all basically versions of W10. Server 2016 is supported until Jan 12 2027, Server 2019 until Jan 9 2029 and Server 2022 currently has no end date listed.

      So they will be maintaining the code-base for all of these for years to come - adding Windows 10 to the patching cycle wouldn't be a massive amount of work at the scale they work at.

  2. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Linux

    My roadmap is "move to Linux" (for non-Mac users)

    We're pretty much exclusively browser based, so no real pain.

    As I have banged on for over a decade, it's the lack of an Outlook replacement that previously stopped me. But now we don't really use email at all.

    The only users I might have a problem with are accounts, who use a bluetooth-thingy with a card to access the bank. But it's easier to support 2 Win 11 machines (assuming the manufacturers update their software, as they haven't as of writing) than 200.

    My only loss will be not running vagrant. But I can keep a spare PC for that too.

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: My roadmap is "move to Linux" (for non-Mac users)

      > The only users I might have a problem with are accounts, who use a bluetooth-thingy with a card to access the bank.

      Chromium on Linux has good support for Yubikey / Fido2 / U2F, if that helps

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: My roadmap is "move to Linux" (for non-Mac users)

      "it's the lack of an Outlook replacement that previously stopped me. But now we don't really use email at all."

      There are plenty of email clients for Linux. Some of them pre-date Outlook. You may remember that Microsoft were late-comers to the internet. When Bill Gates finally realised that it wasn't going to go away there was panic all round to adapt.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My roadmap is "move to Linux" (for non-Mac users)

        The thing is, Outlooks least useful feature is as an email client.

        The reason it is needed is because it is an *Exchange* client. And that's the bit a lot of companies - especially big ones - can't seem to shake.

        I have tried for 15 years to sneak desktop linux into places. No matter how well it went, eventually it couldn't do Outlook. And at that point you either casually replace the entire server stack. Or you give up.

      2. MatthewSt

        Re: My roadmap is "move to Linux" (for non-Mac users)

        And "new" Outlook is browser based anyway

        1. JimmyPage Silver badge

          Re: My roadmap is "move to Linux" (for non-Mac users)

          That's actually a good point.

          And since it will have to run in Safari and Chrome, if not Firefox or Opera, who cares if it's on a Mint box ?

    3. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: My roadmap is "move to Linux" (for non-Mac users)

      You don't have any cloudy databases which use Office add-ins (fiannce, CRM, etc)? That's one which seems to be an issue for many orgaisations - certainly would be for us.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My roadmap is "move to Linux" (for non-Mac users)

        The only cloudy systems are Xero (which is API integrated into our sales system) and PeopleHR which is standalone and on the way out.

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: My roadmap is "move to Linux" (for non-Mac users)

        We could in theory at my place move to some Linux based systems as everything (Including email OWA) on the shop floor is done on a browser, its only those with personal devices (Desktops\Laptops) that have cubicles\desks. That said we have a lot of security based stuff that probably would shit on that implimentation.

  3. MrGrumpy

    Extend Chromebook updates to 10 years

    They will find other ways of shafting consumers.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Extend Chromebook updates to 10 years

      Chromebooks probably aren't a major money-spinner for Google anyway. The profit in them is from all that lovely data and telemetry, which they will be able to collect irrespective of the age of the device!

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Meanwhile

    Deliveries of fat brown envelopes to Redmond has increased 1000%.

    Ok, I'm joking but the likes of Dell and HP want all those desktops to be replaced sooner rather than much, much, much later. If they can't sell their W11 approved HW then what are they going to do so that their CEO's can buy that new 787 as a private jet?

    Where is the weeping CEO icon when you needit?

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "All software reaches a point at which it's no longer supported"

    Why ?

    Software does not rust. When you're dealing with a company that has more money in the bank than a small country's GDP, why should there be an issue with updates ?

    Apart from CEO bonuses, of course . . .

    1. Kistelek

      Re: "All software reaches a point at which it's no longer supported"

      This. 100% this. Write the bloody stuff right in the first place. And if it's not right, then make it mandatory to fix it for free for however long someone's using it. We've been doing this computer malarky long enough now to stop writing shonky code.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: "All software reaches a point at which it's no longer supported"

        "Write the bloody stuff right in the first place. And if it's not right, then make it mandatory to fix it for free for however long someone's using it."

        I've got some code here that was written in the early 1980s. I already had to patch it to compile something that doesn't fail to start on modern computers, and that version, while it runs, doesn't work right. Where do I send the request that they fix this, even though the people who wrote it might have been dead for a while and have almost certainly retired? The company identified in the copyright statements has also been shut down. If you push on this, I'll find whoever last used an IBM System 360, and if there are literally no uses of it in production anymore, buy part of one just to see if I can make IBM fix things in code that's nearly sixty years old.

        Code doesn't self-heal. Work is required to make it do things it wasn't already doing. If you try to force people to be responsible to fix any bugs that ever crop up, then you'll just get a lot more "not a bug, just a feature or design decision" replies because it won't be feasible to fix any problem you ever come up with. Everything you buy will run out of support eventually, and you'll have a lot more success by trying to assign a sensible limit to that such as existing consumer protection law does rather than trying to regulate its life to infinity.

        1. Ignazio

          Re: "All software reaches a point at which it's no longer supported"

          When I told my dad I wanted to study computer science, he said: but why? The things have been built already.

          Same as "Write it right the first time"

          Funnily enough, in his daily job* he was very well acquainted with "needs change, things get old, stuff breaks". He'd even joke half his work was fixing the stuff he'd built twenty years before. Microsoft has just made a business that ensures things break at scale, instead of at their usual pace.

          * he was a plasterer before retiring

    2. DoContra

      Re: "All software reaches a point at which it's no longer supported"

      Software does not rust

      It does something worse: it rots (and leaves quite the stench). (The rest of the points very are valid tho).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Pascal Monett - Re: "All software reaches a point at which it's no longer supported"

      Small correction here : more money than a dozen small countries GDP. Looks better now!

  6. f4ff5e1881
    Mushroom

    A noble cause

    It’s a noble cause, to be sure. But there’s one slight problem. Microsoft only cares about profit. All other priorities are rescinded.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why extend Windows 10's life when Windows 11 could do just fine

    There's no need to extend the Windows 10 support period. Microsoft could simply remove the arbitrary blocks that prevent Windows 11 from installing on older systems. Because Windows 11 works just fine on older devices if one circumvents the hardware checks.

    It would be different if Windows 11 actually required new hardware, but the fact that it does work fine on older systems going back to Nehalem shows that Microsoft could solve this complaint easily by removing the hardware checks.

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Why extend Windows 10's life when Windows 11 could do just fine

      Sort of Windows 11 LHE (Legacy Hardware Edition).

      1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

        Re: Why extend Windows 10's life when Windows 11 could do just fine

        > Windows 11 LHE (Legacy Hardware Edition).

        Can it come with Legacy desktops as well aka Windows 2000, 7 etc ?

    2. abufrejoval

      Re: Why extend Windows 10's life when Windows 11 could do just fine

      Precisely, I've been running Windows 11 directly on Skylake hardware, which is nearly exactly the same as Kaby Lake in anything that an OS would care about and I'm also running the very latest Windows 11 just fine on Haswell and Broadwell Xeons under KVM as a hypervisor. With GPU (and USB) pass-through I even get it to run game at native performance on Windows 11.

      Just proves those checks are completely arbitary and nothing but planned obsolescence in cahoots with Intel and AMD.

      Microsoft needs to be broken up and the OS part (among others) spun off into a separate company under strict guidance not to create artificial obsolescence.

      Perhaps it's ok to let go 32-bit x86 today, but anything 64-bit should run Windows and there is no reason a TPM should be required, especially since not everyone even wants to encrypt their disks.

      I much prefer mine movable between systems and easy to copy and always disable it.

      And with Windows 12 M$ is likely to go even further in terms of obsolescence and integrating ever more AI backdoors when they are already acting as if they owned your Personal Computer.

      Apple users may be happy to give up any right to self-determination to their iNanny, but when I hire a janitor or property manager for my PC (that's what on OS is) I don't want him to run my life or report on me to his agency. I just expect him to do the job he was hired for and not get smart on me!

  8. webstaff

    I like Louis Rossmanns bankruptcy idea on this.

    His idea was around iot providers ending services and when it ends you have to open source.

    If windows 10 goes eol then open source it.

    Given how much of 10 is in 11 this should force there hand to carry on with support.

    Also what happened to windows 10 will be the last os?

    Is that not misleading advertising?

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: I like Louis Rossmanns bankruptcy idea on this.

      "Also what happened to windows 10 will be the last os?

      Is that not misleading advertising?"

      Seem to recall that was a passing comment by someone in a presentation, not anything which Microsoft officially announced.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like Louis Rossmanns bankruptcy idea on this.

      Except that Windows 10 in that instance is just an older branch of Windows.

  9. probgoblin

    It is clear what GabeN must do

    You know how Valve's Steamdeck and Proton have done absolute wonders on getting Windows software, often with demanding requirements, running with near native performance on Linux?

    Time for them to just stand on that pedal for the next two years and have Lindows 10 ready to roll at the end.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK, everybody, don't panic!

    No enterprise, I repeat no enterprise, will move to Linux. We all know this and Microsoft knows this.

    With the exception of a few (really) angry users, the rest of them will remain on Windows. Why ? Because the vast majority either they don't know of something else or they're too lazy to learn something new.

    Moving to Linux is not unlike quitting smoking: all those who wanted to do it they've done it, those who are left will never do it no matter how much abuse Microsoft will throw at them.

    Let me put this straight to you. Even if Microsoft will start distributing Linux installation kits to every Windows user, nothing will change. It's not about Linux good vs. Windows bad. It's like for instance US moving to metric system or UK moving to drive on the right side of the road.

    Don't get me wrong. I use Linux, I love Linux but I have no problem accepting your mileage may vary. Wildly!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OK, everybody, don't panic!

      Enterprises may not move to Linux but an increasingly number does consider or already has moved to ChromeOS (which is also Linux).

  11. Mike 125

    https://pirg.org/take-action/tell-microsoft-dont-leave-millions-of-computers-behind/

    Link doesn't accept UK post codes- not a good start.

    Told them. Hey cynics- you gotta believe.

    (oh... jeez......what the hell hooch is this... 95%................. ahh...)

  12. Smartypantz

    "All software reaches a point at which it's no longer supported"

    FALSE

  13. Tron Silver badge

    Cheap fix.

    Use any old PC offline for your actual work and anything with a browser for the net. You can move data between the two on memory cards.

    If MS force companies to move their intranets completely offline for security and use cheap tablets/Chromebook pretend laptops for online work, they will have airgapped their operations and made them more secure - a first for Microsoft.

  14. GC_Wood

    The simple solution...

    The simple solution is for Microsoft to remove it's arbitrary hardware requirements, particularly for CPUs. I have an i7700k processor which is not on the compatible list. But by using Microsoft's approved workaround, I've installed Windows 11 Pro and it works perfectly. The problem isn't the discontinuation of Windows 10, in line with the schedule for EOL for other versions of Windows, but the fact that arbitrary hardware requirements are preventing people from upgrading.

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