Windows 10 Support Ends Next Year, Providing Big Switch Opportunity For Google’s ChromesOS Flex

June 25, 2024 by Dave Haynes

The publication TechNewsWorld, whose coverage focus is pretty evident in the name, has a good reminder up about the looming end of Microsoft’s formal support for devices running its Windows 10 operating system.

Many millions of PCs, including some used as media players for digital signage networks, see support ended for their OS in October 2025, and they can’t be upgraded to Windows 11 because they don’t have a chip in them that is tied to Windows 11 security.

The market research firm Canalys suggests 20% of the world’s Windows 10 devices – some 240 million PCs – can’t be upgraded. Microsoft has an extended support program positioned to help prolong support, but TechNewsWorld notes the costs are probably a non-starter for many:  US$61 per Windows 10 device in year 1, $122 for the second year and $244 for year three.

This news got me thinking about the now very nicely positioned Google product, ChromeOS Flex. It has been around for a couple of years now, and been gaining both attention and usage. The Win 1o situation should be a big moment for the tech giant. I dunno if some Googlers saw this coming, but a hat tip to whoever was thinking more than two years out.

In the context of digital signage and pro AV applications, the Flex program opens up the ability to easily re-purpose devices already in the field – like PCs running Windows 10– as Chrome devices. So instead of binning them, they can run for months or years longer – which is meaningful both for hardware budgets and operating costs.

Google says it has certified roughly 600 devices that run ChromeOS Flex.

The Flex part of the shift is free, I THINK, and where Google makes its money is by getting those devices on its secure device management platform, which is fee-based. But it is roughly $4-$6 per device, so not punitive.

  1. Daniel Hargett says:

    This is why I think best practice for Windows machines is to use Win IoT LTS. It has 10 years of security updates.

    1. Kevin Cosbey says:

      100% agree! If someone is using Win10, not only are they getting an OS not optimized for an IoT based application, but they’re paying more for the license. And with Windows 11 IoT LTSC just released, it’s supported by Microsoft until 2034.

  2. craig keefner says:

    I thought it was October 2025 for Win10. Win10 IOT LTSC (which is what they should be running) is 2027. Price depends on processor.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      You are right. My boo-boo. Fixed!

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