New Windows 10 prices show Microsoft is getting desperate in pushing users to the latest operating system

Windows 10 and Windows 11 logos pictured on laptop screens sitting side-by-side on a desk.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Microsoft will be doubling the price of its Extended Security Updates (ESU) every year after Windows 10 reaches end-of-support in 2025, signaling a desperate push to prompt upgrades to Windows 11. 

Once support runs out on 14 October 2025, organizations will have to pay $61 for the first year of updates, followed by an increase to $122 for the second year and $244 in the third year. 

This yearly price doubling will run for a maximum of up to three years, Microsoft confirmed, though users who enter the program after 2025 will have to pay for any years’ pricing they missed. 

This announcement signals a huge markup from the previous ESU program which, for Windows 7, cost customers $25 per device for the first year, $50 for the second, and $100 for the third.

As of yet, these yearly pricing structures only apply to commercial organizations and business entities. 

There are a few caveats with this, though, including a 25% discount on ESU costs for users operating cloud-based update management systems solutions such as Microsoft Intune or Windows Autopatch.

This brings the price down to $45 for year-one payments, as well as offering a slightly simpler update process. 

Microsoft laid out the alternatives to the ESU program before getting into the details of the pricing structure, describing a variety of ways for organizations to make the switch to Windows 11

The firm stated that users should look to upgrade existing PCs to the new operating system where possible, purchase new Windows 11 compatible PCs, or migrate to the cloud and begin operating Windows 11 through Windows 365

The ESUs, Microsoft said, are not intended to be a long-term solution but rather a “temporary bridge” for companies that are still transitioning out of using Windows 10. 

ESUs do not include new features, non-security fixes, design change requests, or extended technical support, making the hefty price tag attached to them even less appealing for businesses considering their options. 

It made clear that Windows 10 was soon to be a “legacy software” likely to leave companies the risk of security breaches or compliance violations.

Microsoft tried the carrot; now it’s trying the stick 

Microsoft’s recent decision highlights the long-running problem the tech giant has had encouraging users to Windows 11. Statistics from Statcounter currently put the Windows 11 market share at just under 27%, while Windows 10 still commands around 69%. 


The original announcement of the ESU program made clear that Microsoft was not ready to force Windows 10 users off the operating system owing to its huge popularity.

Microsoft tried a more inviting method initially, seeking to remedy lagging Windows 11 adoption rates with a promise of enhanced generative AI for Copilot on the updated operating system, as well as new plugins for OpenTable, Instacart, Shopify, Klarna, and Kayak.

Now, Microsoft is switching the incentive to a purely financial one, ramping up ESU fees in a more coercive attempt to move users onto Windows 11. 

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.