Leverage Windows 10 Extended Security Updates and Windows 365 to Maximize IT Cost Savings

Microsoft Has Announced Windows 10 Extended Security Updates

With Windows 10 end of support set for October 2025, enterprises must be actively planning how to handle their desktop and application estates. To assist with this, Microsoft recently announced pricing for Windows 10 Extended Security Updates (ESUs), along with migration paths customers can choose to get free or substantially discounted ESUs.

The base price for ESUs on a typical Windows 10 device is $61 per desktop for the first year. The price will double each additional year over the three-year duration of the Windows 10 ESU program similar to the Windows 7 ESUs. This means organizations may pay as much as $183 per desktop in that third year. Education customers will be happy to learn that it will cost just $1 for year one, $2 per year two and $4 for year three, but enterprise customers must take stock of what a delayed migration to Windows 11 could cost them due to the price of these security updates.

Windows 10 ESUs for Microsoft Cloud Management Products

Customers who choose to use a Microsoft cloud management product, such as Autopatch or Intune, will receive substantial discounts starting at 25%. According to the Microsoft advisory, these customers will pay per user rather than per desktop, with each user able to use up to 5 devices. This will result is a considerable discount. For example, an organization of 10,000 people could save more than $160,000 in Year 1 alone.

With previous versions of Windows Server, there was an option for customers to get free ESUs by moving on-premises workloads on legacy versions of Server up to Azure. This time, Windows 10 customers can get free ESUs by connecting Windows 10 devices to a Windows 365 Cloud PC.

The price of Windows 7 ESUs was considered steep by many. One could assume organisations have been more proactive when planning their Windows 11 migrations to avoid the need of widespread reliance on the Extended Security Updates…  However, a study by Statcounter and Steam Hardware found Windows 11 isn’t being adopted at the same rate as its predecessor. Worldwide Windows market share data from Statcounter suggests that Windows 11 runs on between 23 and 24 percent of Windows PCs, compared to 72 percent for Windows 10. Statcounter also found Windows 11’s growth stagnated in late 2023. Digital Trends have also reported slow adoption by enterprise customers, in part due to hardware incompatibility challenges.

Maximize IT Cost Savings with Windows 10 ESUs and Windows 365

If you are watching this with a sense of panic as you have yet to start your migration planning – perhaps because you are waiting for a hardware refresh – there is some good news in this announcement. Microsoft published this information more than 18 months before Windows 10 end of support. With the average Windows desktop migration project spanning 18 months, you need to be planning your modernization now but you at least have enough time if you start right away. More great news is that there is an option for free ESUs if required.

The most attractive option here is to get the free ESUs, which require you to adopt Windows 365 with a one-year commitment. This may sound easier than it really is,   and it may not be as cheap as you might expect.

Windows 365 is priced in tiers based on desktop specification. The reality of working on Windows desktops today is that applications are more resource intensive than ever. You want to account for this by standardising on Cloud PCs with at least 8GB of memory and 2-4 vCPUs. If you go for a lower spec desktop, you can expect degraded performance and noticeable slowness when patching your cloud PCs each month, among other issues. Considering the specs you require, you are realistically going to spend around $40 per month for each cloud PC license, possibly more if you require hybrid licensing for Mac client users or possibly less if you leverage features such as the front-line cloud PC Shift workers.

This approach could still provide a great deal of value. Paying $40 per month for a Cloud PCs will still be cheaper than paying $61 per month for Windows 10 ESUs on your legacy desktops. But you should bare in mind having physical endpoints and additional Windows 365 Cloud PCs means more endpoints to manage which itself can lead to higher operating costs.

From a technical perspective, if you want to provide users with Windows 365 Cloud PCs, onboarding to a Windows 11 desktop should be easy. That is, until you get to the application management. Application deployments can be slow and inconsistent when using traditional tooling. You need to assess modern provisioning solutions that enable dynamic application delivery. In an ideal world, you would assign your Cloud PCs once then just treat them like actual physical PCs: patching them each month and deploying application updates to them when required.

However, think about your physical PCs today. Support teams and technicians routinely reimage desktops as a means of troubleshooting, persistent issues. You may believe Cloud PCs enable a set-it-and-forget-it approach, but that is not the reality of day-to-day enterprise IT. You need to plan managing Cloud PCs in a way that persists your user’s data consistently and can deliver applications quickly and dynamically.


If the announcement of these extended security updates is acting as a catalyst for you to begin your migration plan, you are in luck. There are a lot of great resources and information for you to leverage on your migration journey. I encourage you to download the Windows 11 migration guide we recently published, sign up for our webinar on May 21st about ensuring Windows 11 is YOUR LAST true application migration, or request a demonstration with our team of Solutions Architects.

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About numecent

Numecent is an award-winning cloud technology provider headquartered in Irvine, California. The company’s technology portfolio, built upon 64 patents (and counting), simplifies the mobilization and management of Windows applications across modern desktop and multi-cloud environments. Enterprises around the world – including the largest Fortune 500 companies, cloud service providers, and MSPs – leverage these technologies to package and deploy thousands of applications to millions of end-users in a friction-free manner every day.

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