Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system has been available in the retail market for over seven years and was superseded by Windows 11 in October 2021. However, despite its age, Windows 10 remains the most popular version of Windows with a global market share of 67.95%. in December 2022 compared to 16.97% for Windows 11, according to StatCounter.
But it now looks like Microsoft is poised to put the brakes on issuing new Windows 10 licenses to regular consumers. Microsoft’s official product pages for Windows 10 Home (opens in new tab) and Windows 10 Pro (opens in new tab) now add the following disclaimer:
January 31, 2023 will be the last day this Windows 10 download will be available for sale. Windows 10 will continue to be supported through October 14, 2025 with security updates to help protect your PC from viruses, spyware, and other malware.
So if you want to download the software directly from Microsoft, you only have a few weeks until the company pulls the plug. Microsoft currently offers Windows 10 Home as a direct download for $139, while Windows 10 Pro costs $199.
However, keep in mind that this only applies to Windows 10 downloads purchased directly from Microsoft by general consumers. Additionally, we don’t know what kind of backroom deals Microsoft has with their massive army of OEM PC partners, so it’s entirely possible that they’ll still be able to acquire Windows 10 licenses for the foreseeable future.
Although Microsoft is ending consumer sales of Windows 10 through its web store, there are still many other ways to download the operating system or buy it on DVD. For example, Amazon offers the OEM version of Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro on DVD for $109.99 (opens in new tab) and $146.99 (opens in new tab)respectively. Alternatively, online sites like Kinguin offer Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro product keys for well under $30, which is a great option for DIYers looking to save a few bucks building a new system.
It’s pretty clear why Microsoft is on its way to selling Windows 10; It wants to move as many people to its current Windows 11 operating system as quickly as possible. Microsoft will end Windows 10 support on October 14, 2025, which means there will be no more security or virus/malware protection. Not surprisingly, Microsoft would prefer customers not to wait that long and upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 for free sooner rather than later.