Predicting the Future: Windows 10 End-of-Life

Predicting the Future: Windows 10 End-of-Life
October 6, 2023

October 14th 2025 will be a significant day for IT leaders because it marks the end-of-life for Windows 10.

The 14th also coincides with ‘I Love Yarn Day’ (a real holiday, I swear), but I’m sure there are fewer people thinking about that.

According to StatCounter, only 24% of all Windows computers were running Windows 11 this month. Since January, adoption has been relatively flat, with the vast majority of devices still running on Windows 10 (71% of market share).

Those numbers seem reasonable even if Statcounter admits its data should be handled with care. (They pull publicly available stats from 1.5M websites and don’t apply any artificial weights).

A few years ago, we set out to find data that would paint a more accurate story. To do that, we investigated 3.12 million anonymous customer devices from 457 organizations and 8 distinct industries.

The data from that study helped us unearth several interesting findings, as well as answer a question I’m sure many IT leaders are currently contemplating:

How many of my work devices are ready to upgrade to Windows 11?

According to our robust sample size, your estate might look something like this:


Devices in this category mean that employees have a compatible CPU and a supported OS version for Windows 11, so upgrading them will require relatively little resources and cost. IT will have to educate and/or inform employees to accept their upgrade and follow up with them afterwards to ensure they are satisfied.

Almost There

These employees need to upgrade their OS to a supported version (+2004) and then migrate to Windows 11. IT would have to educate employees that fall under this category and push the upgrades through a configuration management solution.

Not Ready

These employees do not have the right CPU nor OS. This is an opportunity where companies should chose to upgrade their hardware along with a new OS to make the best use of their upgrade. IT will need to consider purchasing new devices and planning exactly how and when they’ll migrate employees.

Are you curious to know where your industry peers are with their Windows 11 migration? Check out the report.

Should You Upgrade Your Hardware or Your OS?

The short answer:

It depends.

Upgrading to Windows 11 isn’t contingent only on the OS, you’ll also need the right hardware. Devices must have a 1 GHz processor (or faster) with two or more cores on a 64-bit processor or SoC. They’ll also need 4GB of RAM and at least 64GB of storage. Automatic upgrades to Windows 11 will have additional system requirements, like secure boot capable and TPM 2.0 enabled, which can make upgrading even more challenging. Devices that fail to meet these requirements simply can’t be updated. But replacing new hardware right now might not be the best option depending on your warranty or budget plans.

From our research, we discovered that roughly 1/3 of CPU models don’t support Windows 11, and just under half (44%) of OS versions (OS older than Windows 10 2004 release) aren’t compatible for an upgrade.

Should I Start Soon?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

It’s always a good idea to give yourself plenty of runway for any large-scale digital transformation project.

And if that doesn’t compel you to act, maybe FOMO will.

Based on what we know from our research, we can reasonably assume that the early majority of Windows 11 adoption will take place in Q1 or Q2 of 2024 (considering that ~37% of devices were still on Windows 10 version 1909, which was released on November).

If you’d like more technical help check out our Windows 11 migration page or reach out directly for a demo.

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Sean is a writer, editor, and content marketing strategist. He plays a hand in shaping most of Nexthink's digital content, and has made a career in product marketing and writing for private technology companies and media outlets. Learn More

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