[German]I'm catching up on a topic that already came to my attention on Mastodon on October 27, 2023. The Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has set up a petition calling for Microsoft to extend support for Windows 10 beyond 2025. This is to avoid creating a huge mountain of electronic waste because many computers are unsuitable for Windows 11.
Windows 10: 2025 is end of life
It's been known for a while, Microsoft lets Windows 10 die in favor of Windows 11 (see Microsoft confirms: 22H2 is the final Windows 10 version, Windows 11 LTSC mentioned). On October 14, 2025, there will be security updates for Windows 10 22H2 (both in Home and Pro as well as Enterprise) for the last time. Microsoft writes that the current version 22H2 is the final version of Windows 10, and all editions will continue to be supported with monthly security updates until that date. After that, however, Windows 10 has reached the end of its life and is dead.
Only the so-called LTSC versions of Windows 10 Enterprise and IOT still get security updates for 10 years after release. Therefore, support for Windows 10 IoT 22H2 Enterprise does not expire until 2031. But this version is hardly ever used in the wild.
This means that all systems still running Windows 10 will no longer receive security updates from October 2025 and will have to be replaced. The switch to Windows 11 will simply fail for many systems because they no longer meet Microsoft's hardware requirements. Those who do not want to switch to Linux and cannot get hold of a Windows 10 22H2 IoT Enterprise LTSC will then simply be faced with electronic waste. You can count on ten fingers that millions of tons of electronic waste are created worldwide.
Petition demands Windows 10 life / support extension
With October 2025 approaching, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has set up a petition demanding that Microsoft extend support for Windows 10 beyond October 2025. I came across the issue Saturday via the following Mastodon post from The Register.
The Register picked it up in this post. In the petition addressed to Microsoft's boss, Satya Nadella, PIRG calls on Microsoft to reconsider its decision to end support for Windows 10. With the slogan "20,000 call on Microsoft to save 400 million PCs," PIRG wants to save 400 million PCs worldwide from e-waste. On Tuesday last week, PIRG therefore handed over a petition with 20,000 signatures to Microsoft, calling on them to extend this support for Windows 10.
The text of the petition states that as many as 400 million of the 1 billion Windows 10 devices in use will soon lose support from Microsoft. "Microsoft's discontinuation of Windows 10 could make more computers obsolete than any other action before," said Lucas Rockett Gutterman, director of PIRG's Designed to Last campaign. "Microsoft needs to reconsider this decision and continue to provide security updates to the millions of people who can't upgrade their computers – both for the sake of their finances and the environment."
About 40% of PCs in use cannot be upgraded to Windows 11, the statement said, meaning that if Microsoft stops providing security updates for Windows 10 in 2025, these computers will either be unsafe or go into e-waste. Since only 25% of electronic waste is recycled, according to the EPA, most of these computers will end up in landfills.
The petition, addressed to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, states, among other things: "Microsoft's decision to end support for millions of working computers in our hospitals, businesses and homes is a bad deal for customers who expect their expensive devices to last. All software reaches a point where it's no longer supported, but when the consequences to our environment are so great, we shouldn't accept it." Currently, you can still sign the petition on this website.
Microsoft has set ambitious environmental goals (at least for the public), but the impact of this one decision threatens to jeopardize progress. The production of these hundreds of millions of devices has already resulted in a climate impact of about 46 million tons, equivalent to the additional traffic of 9 million cars in one year, they say.
Microsoft, sustainability and Windows 11 as an environmental disaster
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