A nonprofit group has sent a petition to Microsoft, urging it to extend the end-of-support date for Windows 10 beyond 2025 to prevent “the junking” of millions of PCs.
The petition from the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)—a federation of nonprofits focused on consumer protections—contains signatures from 20,000 people.
“Microsoft abandoning Windows 10 could cause the obsolescence of more computers than any single action ever,” PIRG Campaign Director Lucas Rockett Gutterman said in a statement.
Microsoft plans on supporting Windows 10 until Oct. 14, 2025, or 10 years after its initial release. After that date, the company will no longer release patches, including critical security updates, for the OS. Ideally, Windows 10 users will update to Windows 11 in the next two years. The problem is that Microsoft instituted strict hardware requirements to run Windows 11, barring many laptops and desktops sold before 2018 from switching over.
This could lead to an estimated one billion PCs across the globe running a dead operating system come October 2025. So PIRG is calling on Microsoft to continue supporting the OS after 2025 to avoid creating huge amounts of electronic waste.
“All software reaches a point at which it’s no longer supported, but when the consequences to our environment are this large we shouldn’t accept it,” the petition says.
The group adds that Windows XP continued offering support for about 13 years before Microsoft finally pulled the plug. In addition, Windows 10 initially launched with more backwards compatibility for PCs on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, making the upgrade easier.
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“Given these past actions of Microsoft, it’s surprising that the company is forcing the transition to Windows 11,” Gutterman added. “Not only is this bad for consumers, it’s also bad for the planet, since the outdated computers will add to our growing piles of toxic e-waste.”
Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In the meantime, rumors are circulating that the company is preparing Windows 12, which could arrive as soon as next year.
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