Microsoft announces prices for the Windows 10 Extended Security Update program

Windows 10 is reaching end of support on October 14, 2025, so if you’re still using Windows 10 – and let’s face it, if you’re somehow forced to still use Windows, better 10 than 11 – your time is running out. Luckily, end of support is a bit of a nebulous term when it comes to Microsoft products, and many among you, especially those managing larger fleets of systems, will know Microsoft offers something called the Extended Security Update (ESU) program, wherein you get additional security updates even after end of support.

Microsoft just unveiled the prices for this program for Windows 10. While there’s several schemes, the one most of you will be interested in is this one:

With the 5-by-5 activation method, you’ll download an activation key and apply it to individual Windows 10 devices that you’ve selected for your ESU program. Manage it via scripting or the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT), among other methods. You can use on-premises management tools such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) with Configuration Manager to download and apply the updates to your Windows 10 devices.

The 5-by-5 activation subscription will establish the Year One list price of ESU for Windows 10.

This is the base license and will cost $61 USD per device for Year 1, similar to the Windows 7 ESU Year 1 price.

↫ Jason Leznek

Honestly, that’s not an egregious price, but do note that this price doubles every year for three years total, and note that if you want to start using ESU in year two, you’ll have to pay for year one as well. In other words, pricing ramps up fast. Furthermore, this program only includes security updates – no new features or anything like that, and it doesn’t include support either.

So, if you’re still using Windows 10 after October 14, 2025, you’ll either have to pay up, have an insecure system, downgrade to Windows 11, or move to a better alternative. Choice’s yours.


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