Do you remember your first computer? What about its operating system? Mine was from circa 2007, and it ran on Windows XP. It was the center of my world as a child, leading me to my eventual career in programming. As with everyone else’s first computer, that one is now useless. Every so often, Microsoft tends to deliver new operating systems, leaving the old ones behind. A new petition against the end of support for Windows 10 wants to stop this fate from happening to 40% of computers in 2025, which could logically lead to a disaster.
Out with the old
A new Windows version brings many new features. However, it also comes at the cost of millions of computers unable to make the update due to hardware limitations. These computers stop receiving security updates, followed by crucial applications, like browsers, ceasing their support. Another update is peeking around the corner, meaning that Microsoft will cease to support Windows 10 by 2025.
— Lucas Rockett Gutterman 🚀 (@LG_Rocket) October 26, 2023
However, this time could mark the single most significant jump in junked computers ever due to the high requirements to use Windows 11. In similar situations, Microsoft has extended the lifetime of previous Windows versions, but only for businesses. As such, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has raised a petition to extend Windows 10’s end of support for everyone.
Hardware requirements are as high as ever
Ever since the early builds of Windows 11, people have questioned the steep system requirements. Looking at history, Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 all required 1GB of RAM. The last jumps in RAM requirements were the updates from Vista (512MB) to 7 (1GB) and from XP (64MB) to Vista (512MB). The move from Windows 10 to Windows 11 will quadruple the RAM requirement to 4GB.
Pie chart races can be a bit boring sometimes. I enjoyed this one though. Watching Windows Vista fail never stops being fun. The animation shows the most popular desktop and laptop operating systems from 2003 to 2020. Source: https://t.co/Ru4Vkf4Pg8 pic.twitter.com/b4ph6g2pOJ
— Simon Kuestenmacher (@simongerman600) January 3, 2021
It doesn’t stop at the RAM. Storage space, processor, and graphics card are needed. Everything is taking a step further than the previous OS. Enthusiasts like myself deal with such requirements daily to use high-end software, but now everyone has to, which isn’t easy. History often repeats itself, and we can see how the same criticisms towards Windows Vista’s requirements are the same directed at Windows 11 today. Criticisms that turned out to be true for Vista led to its failure.
The initial outrage against Windows 11 eventually slowed down. But with 2025 getting closer, the realization is hitting that Windows 10’s end of support is nigh, and we aren’t ready. PIRG’s campaign director, Lucas Rockett Gutterman, commented that not only this damages the customers but also the environment.
With only 25% of e-waste being recycled and potentially millions of “useless” computers being trashed. While many computers might have their hardware updated to work on Windows 11, we are still talking about an enormous amount of e-waste.
Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been done by Christopher Isak with Midjourney for TechAcute.
Source: Public Interest Research Group / Mary Jo Foley (ZDNet) / Tom Warren (The Verge) / Scott M. Fulton, III (BetaNews) / GettingGeek