In the fast-paced world of technology, Microsoft’s Windows operating system has always been a major player. However, the landscape is shifting as Windows 11 grapples with slower adoption rates than expected. This article delves into the reasons behind this phenomenon and explores the potential impact on users as Microsoft’s plans for Windows 10 and the rumored Windows 12 unfold.
Windows 11, released over two years ago, has not gained the traction that Microsoft had hoped for. Despite continuous updates and feature enhancements, its adoption rate remains modest. The primary reason for this sluggish adoption is attributed to Microsoft’s stringent minimum system requirements and a shifting PC market.
StatCounter’s survey earlier this year revealed that the majority of Windows users prefer Windows 10 over its successor, with Windows 10 holding a substantial 71.9% market share compared to Windows 11’s 22.95%. While Windows 10 is set to lose support in October 2025, many users have yet to make the transition to Windows 11.
Amidst these developments, rumors about Windows 12 are gaining momentum. Microsoft appears to be betting heavily on artificial intelligence for Windows 12, with a potential release in the coming year. The company’s keen interest and substantial investment in generative technology signal a significant shift in its approach to operating systems.
Impact on sustainability goals
A recent survey by Canalys suggests that approximately 240 million Windows PCs could become redundant when Microsoft ends support for Windows 10. This could pose a challenge to Microsoft’s sustainability goals, as disposing of such a large number of PCs contradicts its environmental commitments. The cost for users to continue using Windows 10 beyond its end-of-support date remains uncertain.
In response to concerns about the environmental impact and the user base’s size, a Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) filed a petition urging Microsoft to reconsider its decision to end support for Windows 10 in 2025. The group pointed out that 40% of users still run Windows 10 due to its strict minimum requirements, making it necessary to extend support.
Following the petition, Microsoft introduced an “extended security update” (ESU) program for Windows 10. This program allows users, both commercial and consumer, to pay for monthly security updates beyond the official end-of-support date, effectively providing three additional years of support.
This move aligns with Microsoft’s decision to introduce its AI-powered assistant, Copilot, to Windows 10 users. It appears that Windows 10 may continue to be a part of the technological landscape well beyond 2025, ushering in an era where AI and traditional operating systems coexist.
In conclusion, Windows 11’s slow adoption rate can be attributed to several factors, including strict system requirements and user preferences for Windows 10. As Microsoft prepares for the potential release of Windows 12, the impact of ending support for Windows 10 on sustainability goals and the environment remains a topic of concern.
The introduction of the ESU program offers users an alternative, allowing them to extend the life of their Windows 10 systems and benefit from continued support. Ultimately, Microsoft’s commitment to AI integration hints at a future where traditional operating systems coexist with advanced AI technology, shaping the future of personal computing.