Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system has been available on 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 ready to put the brakes on issuing new Windows 10 licenses to everyday consumers. Microsoft’s official product pages for Windows 10 Home (opens in new tab) and Windows 10 Pro (opens in new tab) now include the following disclaimer:
January 31, 2023 will be the last day this Windows 10 download is offered for sale. Windows 10 will remain supported with security updates that help protect your PC from viruses, spyware, and other malware until October 14, 2025.
So, if you want to download the software directly from Microsoft, you only have a few weeks before the company pulls the plug. Microsoft currently offers Windows 10 Home as a direct download for $139, while Windows 10 Pro will set you back $199.
But remember, this only pertains to Windows 10 downloads bought directly from Microsoft by general consumers. Moreover, we don’t know what kind of backroom deals Microsoft has with its vast army of OEM PC partners, so it’s entirely possible that they might still be able to purchase Windows 10 licenses for the foreseeable future.
Although Microsoft is ending consumer sales of Windows 10 via its web store, there are still plenty of other avenues to download the operating system or purchase 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 an excellent avenue for DIYers looking to save a few bucks when building a new system.
It’s pretty clear why Microsoft is on track to sunset sales of Windows 10; it wants to push as many people over to its current Windows 11 operating system as quickly as possible. Microsoft will end Windows 10 support on October 14, 2025, which means no more security or antivirus/malware protection. Not surprisingly, Microsoft would prefer that customers not wait that long and make the free upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 sooner rather than later.