Saturday, April 13, 2024

Outrageous: Microsoft to charge $61 for Windows 10 updates — consider switching to Linux!


Hold on to your hats, folks, because Microsoft is at it again. In a move that’s sure to ruffle some feathers, the tech giant has announced that starting October 2024, just one year before Windows 10 reaches its end of support, the company will charge a whopping $61 per device for the first year of Extended Security Updates (ESU). And get this – the price will double every consecutive year for a maximum of three years! If you’re late to the party and join in Year Two, you’ll have to cough up the cash for Year One as well since these updates are cumulative. Talk about a slap in the face!

Now, let’s be clear: these Extended Security Updates are meant to be a temporary bridge for organizations that need more time to transition to Windows 11. They’re not intended to be a long-term solution. But let’s face it, for many businesses and individuals, upgrading to Windows 11 isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. There are compatibility issues, hardware requirements, and not to mention the hassle of migrating entire systems. So, this move by Microsoft feels like it’s holding users hostage — pay up or risk being left vulnerable to security threats.

What’s even more infuriating is that this isn’t the first time Microsoft has pulled a stunt like this. Remember the Windows 7 ESU program? Yep, it’s following the same playbook. But this time, Microsoft is not even offering new features, non-security fixes, or design changes as part of the deal. You’re essentially paying for the privilege of not having your system turn into a hacker’s playground.

And here’s the kicker: if you’re using a cloud-based update management solution like Microsoft Intune or Windows Autopatch, you can get a ~25% discount on the ESU licensing. But even with the discount, it’s still going to cost $45 per user (up to five devices) for the first year. Sure, cloud-based management has its benefits, but it’s cold comfort when you’re being nickel-and-dimed for essential security updates.

It’s time for Microsoft to rethink this strategy. Security updates should be a basic right for users, not a luxury item with a hefty price tag. But if Microsoft insists on going down this path, it might be time for users to consider an alternative: Linux. That’s right, the free and open-source kernel that powers many operating systems. It is known for its security, stability, and flexibility. With a wide range of distributions to choose from, there’s a Linux flavor for everyone, from beginners to power users. And the best part? No hefty update fees.

So, before you reach for your wallet to pay for Windows 10 ESUs, take a moment to explore the world of Linux. You might just find that it’s the perfect solution for your needs — and your budget. Let’s make our voices heard and stand up for fair and accessible software updates. The security of our systems and our data is at stake!

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