In a bid to protect both the environment and financially strapped users, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has petitioned Microsoft to extend its support for Windows 10 Home and Pro versions.
As it stands, Microsoft plans to cease security updates for approximately 400 million computers running these Windows 10 versions within the next two years. The petition, signed by 20,000 individuals, was formally presented to the tech giant this week.
Why Extend Support: The TPM and Hardware Hurdles
The immediate alternative offered by Microsoft is an upgrade to Windows 11. However, millions of computers are unable to make the transition due to lacking the required Trusted Platform Module (TPM) or other hardware deficiencies. Recent studies have highlighted that hundreds of millions of computers fail to meet the prerequisites for the new Windows version.
Lucas Rockett Gutterman, a representative from PIRG, stated, “By abandoning Windows 10, Microsoft is essentially rendering more computers obsolete in a single action than ever before. The company needs to reconsider this decision and continue providing security updates to the millions who cannot upgrade their systems, both for financial and environmental reasons.”
Environmental and Security Risks Loom Large
According to PIRG’s estimates, around 40% of the one billion computers running Windows cannot upgrade to Windows 11. If Microsoft proceeds with ending Windows 10 support, these computers will either become security liabilities or contribute to electronic waste.
The petition asserts, “All software reaches a point where support ends, but when the environmental implications are this significant, we shouldn’t accept it.”
The Case of Windows XP
PIRG also drew attention to Microsoft’s past decisions to extend support for older versions like Windows XP. Moreover, many systems were eligible for free upgrades to Windows 10 at its launch.
“Given these past actions by Microsoft, it’s surprising that the company is forcing the transition to Windows 11. This move is not only bad for consumers; it’s also detrimental to the planet, as outdated computers contribute to our growing mountains of toxic electronic waste,” Gutterman added.