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End of Windows 10: what consequences for the planet ?

Windows 11. © lemon squeezer

Currently, Microsoft is already preparing the end of Windows 10. Launched in 2015, the operating system will no longer be supported (with a few exceptions) from 2025. And although this will only happen in two years, many Companies will start replacing their old ones running Windows 10 as early as 2024. And while this replacement cycle is a good thing for the computer market, it also risks triggering an avalanche of electronic waste.

240 million waste

The Canalys company is precisely interested in the waste that the end of life of Windows 10 risks generating. And it estimates that in the two years before the end of support for Windows 10 (October 2025), a fifth of existing machines will become electronic waste because of incompatibility with Windows 11. This is equivalent to 240 million PCs. “If these were just folded laptops, stacked on top of each other, they would form a stack 600 km taller than the moon”, indicates Canalys.

Canalys also explains that most of these 240 million PCs, if they are in good condition, could still be recycled. But due to incompatibility with Windows 11, these machines will have little value in the event of reconditioning and resale. To extend the lifespan of these machines (which could also use Linux instead of Windows), we could also donate them to charity. But this would be contrary to the principle of “digital equity”. “Giving these unsupported PCs a second life is clearly the best option environmentally, but donating these devices will not advance the industry's efforts to bridge the digital divide”, we read in the Canalys publication.

Good news for PC sales

In any case, if the end of support for Windows 10 risks having significant ecological consequences, this cycle will on the other hand boost sales. Businesses and individuals will have to purchase new computers to replace those that are not compatible with Windows 11.

On this subject, Canalys estimates that in 2024, the market computers will experience growth of 8%. This will contrast with the market slowdown that we observed in 2023. Otherwise, it should be remembered that there are still solutions for reusing computers that are no longer supported by Microsoft. As mentioned above, you can for example install Linux. Otherwise, Google also offers a solution for installing its Chrome OS operating system on old machines.

  • Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 10 in October 2025, pushing businesses and individuals to purchase new machines
  • Canalys predicts that because of this cycle of replacement, 240 million PCs incompatible with Windows 11 risk becoming electronic waste
  • On the other hand, the end of support for Windows 10 will boost the computer market

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116