Microsoft Delays Windows 10 Security Deadline

John Lister's picture

Microsoft is delaying its end of support for machines running older versions of Windows 10. It's the latest alteration made because of people working from home.

The change affects any computers that haven't been updated since the big twice-yearly update in October 2018, formally known as version 1709 for business users and 1809 for home users.

It might seem odd that some people are running those versions given the option to automatically have Windows update regularly. However, it's also understandable that some people might have been put off updating at that point as the October 2018 update was something of a disaster. One possibility is that the Windows Update mechanism is corrupt, or another part of Windows is preventing the upgrade from occurring.

Security Fixes Would Have Ended

The original plan was that Microsoft would stop supporting version 1709 for business this week and version 1809 for home users next month. That would mean there would be no more help with problems and no more security fixes.

It's a fairly drastic measure that's meant to make sure people are incentivised to keep updating Windows, even if they remain a year or more "out of date."

Upgrades Could Be IT Nightmare

The big problem is that this could mean businesses having to manually upgrade networks and individual PCs, or switch to automatic updates and deal with a backlog of more than year's worth of potential problems. Either way, that could prove extremely tricky for IT staff when people are working remotely. (Source:

Microsoft has now put back the deadline to October 13 for business users and November 10 for home users. It's stressed that this doesn't affect support deadlines for later versions of Windows 10 or for any other Microsoft applications such as Office 2010. (Source:

Are You Stuck on And Old Version of Windows 10?

If you're still running Windows 10 version 1709 or 1803, your operating system may be corrupt. If you would like help updating to the latest version of Windows 10, contact Dennis and he can manage it for you remotely. You can find out which version of Windows 10 you have by click on the Start menu, then type in "winver" (without quotes). It should say something like: Version 1909 (OS Build 18363.778).

What's Your Opinion?

Do you leave Windows 10 to update automatically or do you prefer to wait and see whether individual updates are causing problems? Is Microsoft right to normally pull security patches from machine's that haven't been updated for 18 months? Was it a sensible move to delay the end of support in these circumstances?

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nospam_5346's picture

I think the whole policy is wrong and don’t see how it is sustainable without moving to a subscription based model. If there are no new versions, that’s a whole lot of lost revenue.

They shouldn’t make people install feature updates at all. I haven’t used a new “feature” since boot to last known good configuration and that removed that from Windows 10.

I really don’t understand what they intend. They say Win 10 is the last version of Windows, but say mainstream support ends October 13, 2020 and extended support ends October 14, 2025. Then what?

russoule's picture

what is with these software companies and their Mandatory Upgrades? it isn't JUST Microsoft, but virtually all of the packages that are available. the worst part of it are those who allow "free" use of a package, with limitations, and after a year or two decide that even that "free" package must be paid for. I spent 3 or 4 years using that package and now they want to delete it from my system because I won't "upgrade" to the paid version? WTH?

Microsoft is doing the same thing here with their "That version is old and we think you should have the newest version. So we don't care that you don't want it." the purpose is to plant MORE of their "services" on your machine and try to put the other freeware people out of business. once MS gets all the freeware gone, then look for a gigantic "You Vill BUY THIS!"

Dennis Faas's picture

I understand your point of view and I'm sure it's shared by a lot of other folks. The fact of the matter is that software has a limited life cycle due to advances in technologies (new programming languages, new hardware advances, etc) - and the new software takes advantage of that.

That said, the biggest reason why there is an urge to jump to a newer revision (MS Windows included) is that it is not possible to continue patching the old one, mostly due to security issues in which the entire older systems are built around.

A good example here is that Windows 10's Windows Defender / Security Center which includes a cloud-based antivirus and firewall built right into the OS. Older revisions of Windows don't have this capability because it would mean reprogramming major infrastructure to handle it. Also, many of the older systems wouldn't be able to run this new infrastructure because the systems may not be powerful enough.

Oftentimes this infrastructure is based on new programming languages and re-used of code, which is borrowed from many other code libraries. When you put it all together, it means it is no longer viable to continue patching old systems and/or a hardware upgrade is necessary.

Speaking from experience, I have to abandon my Linux environment (which runs the entire web server) in order to upgrade to the next supported release due to the current release reaching its end of life. This means reprogramming everything from scratch using a command line, oftentimes using newer suites of utilities because the old ones are deprecated or no longer supported. This is a huge undertaking, but needs to be done for the reasons I've outlined above.