The Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has called on Microsoft to extend the Windows 10 lifespan to save hundreds of millions of PCs from the landfill.
Windows 10 is slated for end-of-life in October 2025. Unfortunately, Windows 11 has hardware requirements that some 400 million PCs can’t meet. As a result, the PIRG says Windows 10’s demise could lead to the single biggest obsolescence event in computing history.
“Microsoft abandoning Windows 10 could cause the obsolescence of more computers than any single action ever,” said PIRG’s Designed to Last Campaign Director Lucas Rockett Gutterman. ”Microsoft needs to rethink this decision and continue providing security updates for the millions of people who can’t upgrade their computers, for the sake of both their finances and the environment.”
The PIRG’s petition is addressed to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and includes the following:
Microsoft’s decision to stop supporting millions of functional computers in our hospitals, businesses, and homes is a raw deal for customers who expect their expensive devices to last. 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.
As PIRG points out, Microsoft’s stances on Windows 10 is uncharacteristic, given how long the company has supported previous versions of the operating system, such as Windows XP.
“Given these past actions of Microsoft, it’s surprising that the company is forcing the transition to Windows 11. Not only is this bad for consumers, it’s also bad for the planet, since the outdated computers will add to our growing piles of toxic e-waste,” concluded Gutterman.
If Microsoft fails to listen to the PIRG and other critics, many businesses and individuals should look at Linux as a viable alternative. For example, Linux Mint is specifically designed to help ease the transition from Windows to Linux, offering a familiar interface and user experience. Unlike Windows 11, however, Linux Mint is designed to run on a wide range of new and old hardware, and will generally offer a far superior experience.