Except for more or less dubious sources that still have unsold license keys in stock, users who want to equip their newly-built PC with a genuine Windows 10 installation will no longer be able to turn to Microsoft, with the US giant halting sales of Windows 10 licenses as of the end of this month.
The strategy used in the past is part of a plan laid out long ago, paving the way for the inevitable withdrawal of Windows 10 support. Fortunately, even though Windows 10 will no longer be available for download directly from Microsoft’s servers, and the company will no longer sell license keys that allow this OS to be activated on new PCs, the end of the road for this popular version of Windows is still a long way off. Thus, Microsoft will continue to deliver essential security updates, including signatures needed to run pre-installed antivirus protection, at least until October 14, 2025. Instead, users won’t see any more major OS revisions, with active development for this Windows version ceasing by the very end of this month.
While Microsoft is making every effort to discourage new Windows 10 installs, the opposite is true for users looking to upgrade to the Windows 11 successor, with Microsoft offering a free upgrade path that allows for migration of the existing user profile, complete with installed app settings. Given that even the cheapest Windows 10 Home license comes with an (official) price tag of $139, the option to upgrade to an equivalent edition of Windows 11 for free at any time reconfirms Microsoft’s commitment to its own customers.
Important to know, although users who have chosen the Windows 11 upgrade path can revert to the previous version of Windows (within 30 days after upgrading), those who purchase Windows 11 license keys now will not be able to use them to activate Windows 10 installations, nor will they have the option to revert to this version of the OS later.