End of Support: About 240 Million Windows 10 PCs Could Soon End Up in Trash

Microsoft's plan to end support for Windows 10 by October 2025 could result in about 240 million PCs becoming obsolete, leading to an estimated 480 million kilograms of e-waste, equivalent to the weight of 320,000 cars. Environmental concerns are heightened as many of these PCs will not be compatible with Windows 11, and efforts to recycle components like hard drives and batteries are emerging as critical solutions to this looming e-waste crisis

Microsoft has announced plans to end support for the Windows 10 operating system by October 2025. This move is expected to result in the disposal of approximately 240 million PCs, potentially leading to a considerable increase in electronic waste. The anticipated e-waste from these devices could weigh around 480 million kilograms, equating to the heft of 320,000 cars, as per Canalys Research‘s estimates.

The cessation of Windows 10 support is poised to create a mountain of electronic waste, posing a significant challenge to global waste management and recycling efforts. If these computers were laptops folded and stacked, they would form a towering pile over 4,000 kilometers high, surpassing the moon by 600 kilometers. This vivid illustration highlights the scale of the potential e-waste problem that could emerge in the wake of this technological transition.

From an economic perspective, the end of Windows 10 support presents a dilemma for both individual users and businesses. Microsoft’s plan to offer security updates until October 2028, albeit at an undisclosed annual cost, raises questions about the cost-effectiveness of maintaining older PCs versus investing in new ones. This decision could significantly influence market dynamics, potentially leading to a surge in PC replacements.

Transitioning from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is not a straightforward process. PCs must meet specific hardware requirements, including a compatible 64-bit processor, a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and the crucial TPM 2.0 for enhanced security. This technological barrier means that a substantial number of PCs, currently running Windows 10, may not be eligible for the upgrade, rendering them obsolete.

The impending end of Windows 10 support has sparked concern among environmental groups and public interest research groups (PIRG). They warn that this move could lead to the obsolescence of more computers than any other action in history. In response, there have been calls for Microsoft to extend the support timeline, highlighting the potential conflict between the company’s environmental goals and the consequences of this decision.

As the 2025 deadline approaches, the tech industry and consumers are faced with a critical challenge. Balancing technological advancement with environmental responsibility has never been more crucial. This situation presents an opportunity for innovation in recycling and refurbishing technology, as well as in developing more sustainable computing solutions.

Meet Adwaith, a tech-savvy editor who's all about gadgets and gizmos. With a degree in Computer Engineering and a passion for all things tech, he's been guiding readers through the world of hardware for 10 years. Known for his clear, insightful reviews, Adwaith is the trusted voice behind TechLog360. Off-duty, he loves building PCs for charity.


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