Windows 10 Deprecation: What You Need to Know

By: Pawel Pikul

It’s almost time to say goodbye to Microsoft Windows 10. Originally released in July 2015, this operating system has been at the heart of business and personal computing for nearly a decade. As we approach the deprecation date for Windows 10, with the final version, 22H2, slated to lose support October 14, 2025, it’s critical for businesses to gear up for the next phase in computing – the transition to Windows 11.

Impact on Your Business: Navigating the Transition
The transition from Windows 10 to 11 marks a significant shift that will impact various aspects of your business operations. This shift isn’t just about keeping up with the latest software; it’s a crucial step in ensuring your business’s infrastructure remains secure, efficient, and compliant with current standards. With the cessation of support for Windows 10, businesses will no longer receive vital security updates or patches from Microsoft, potentially leaving systems exposed to emerging cybersecurity threats. While this change is essential across all sectors, it’s advised (and also noted as part of all compliance standards like NIST, SOC, HIPAA) that supported versions of software and operating systems are to be used, making the upgrade to Windows 11 not just a technological advancement but a compliance necessity.

Upgrading to Windows 11 goes beyond software updates; it involves reassessing your hardware capabilities. Many older systems may not meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11, calling for a strategic approach to hardware upgrading. This could mean significant changes for businesses, especially those with systems older than five years, which might not support Windows 11 due to lacking features like TPM Sensor 2.0, necessary for encryption and BitLocker.

In addition to meeting the software and hardware needs, it is crucial to verify that Windows 11 is compatible with your essential third-party applications. Should any of these apps not be ready, you should promptly update them or start looking for suitable replacements.

What’s New with Windows 11
Windows 11 has some exciting upgrades that are set to simplify and secure your digital lives. Enhanced security and encryption are major wins, ensuring your data remains safe. The integration of AI tools like Copilot is going to significantly boost your work efficiency. What’s more, the seamless compatibility with Microsoft 365 is a standout feature, offering smoother access to cloud-based apps and files.

I’m particularly excited about the cloud integrations. From an IT standpoint, managing everything through the cloud provides a unified experience, whether you’re on Windows 11 or accessing web applications. This is going to ease a lot of the usual tech headaches. Plus, the interface updates in Windows 11 aren’t just about looking good – they’re designed to make navigation quicker and more intuitive. And for anyone involved in creative or gaming fields, there are some pretty cool features coming your way that are sure to enhance both work and play.

Plotting the Course: Timeline and Strategy for Upgrade
With Windows 10 set to sunset on October 14, 2025, it’s important to begin your upgrade planning as soon as possible. Your timeline for this will vary based on your company’s size. If you’re running a solo operation or a small business needing just one computer upgrade, upgrading by September 2025 should work fine. However, for larger organizations needing to replace hundreds or even thousands of devices, and particularly those looking to spread the cost across multiple fiscal years, it’s wise to start this process now. Waiting until September 2025 will be far too late, as companies often rush for last-minute upgrades, leading to many challenges. I recommend planning early to ensure you secure the necessary resources and avoid the last-minute scramble. When gearing up for an upgrade, I recommend my clients carefully consider these essential steps:

  • Assess Your Current Hardware: Check if your existing systems meet Windows 11’s hardware requirements, focusing on specifics like TPM 2.0 support and CPU compatibility. Older machines, especially those over five years old, will need upgrades or replacements. Most new assets will come with Windows 11 already installed. My best practice recommendation when assessing your hardware is to replace workstations and laptops every four years. This allows you to keep your technology in line with evolving system demands while ensuring compatibility with new operating systems and applications. If you’re unsure if your hardware is compatible, our team at Vertilocity can assist with the assessment of your environment advising on hardware capability and assistance in planning for Microsoft Windows 11 upgrades.
  • Do a Software Compatibility Check: Verify that all critical third-party applications and software (e.g., CRMs, PSAs, ERPs) are compatible with Windows 11. For web-based applications that run in the cloud, such as Salesforce, compatibility concerns are generally minimal. These platforms are typically well-prepared for operating system updates. If your third-party software is not supported, it’s important to look for updates or alternative solutions.
  • Develop a Phased Implementation Plan: Break down the upgrade process into manageable phases. This could involve prioritizing departments or teams that require immediate upgrades due to security needs or heavy reliance on updated technology.
  • Backup Your Data: Before initiating the upgrade, ensure all your data is securely backed up. This step is vital to prevent any data loss during the transition.
  • Establish a Clear Communication Strategy: Keep your team informed about the upcoming changes, timelines, and what they can expect during the transition period. Effective communication can minimize disruptions and ensure a smoother adaptation to the new system.

Licensing and Budget Considerations
For the majority of our clients, the good news is that there’s typically no new license fee involved. If your device was originally purchased with a Windows 10 license, you’re eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11, courtesy of Microsoft. This holds true for most corporate environments, so additional licensing costs shouldn’t be a major concern.

Unlike the licensing considerations, upgrading your hardware and software can be a significant financial undertaking, especially for larger organizations. If you’re looking to spread this expense over two fiscal years, Vertilocity can work with you to develop a phased approach. This might involve upgrading a certain number of devices each quarter or opting for a bulk upgrade, depending on your budget and operational needs.

Remember, this is also an opportune time to evaluate your overall IT strategy. For instance, with the availability of cloud-hosted environments like Azure Virtual Desktop or Windows 365 Desktop, you might find that a cloud-based solution aligns better with your company’s goals. Whether you choose to transition entirely to the cloud or upgrade your local devices to Windows 11, Vertilocity can help assess your needs and determine the most effective solutions for your business. You can dive deeper into these solutions by reading my colleague Justin Krentz’s article “How Managed IT Services Fit Into Your Long-Term Strategy” or take our comprehensive technology assessment to see where you currently are and if you have what you need for where you want to go.

Training and Support
For those eager to dive in, Microsoft offers an array of Windows 11 training videos available right now for self-learning. If some members of your team need extra guidance, Vertilocity is dedicated to making this transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved. We have a range of training resources and videos to help you adjust to the new system comfortably, offering options for both group learning and individual sessions to match your preferred learning style.

If you encounter any questions or issues with Windows 11 after the upgrade, our team at Vertilocity is here to assist. We’ll also keep you updated and informed throughout the transition with emails, blog updates, and training videos, ensuring everyone can confidently transition to Windows 11.

As we say goodbye to Microsoft Windows 10, it’s crucial to gear up for the next chapter that is Windows 11. Together, we can navigate this transition smoothly, paving the way for a more secure and efficient future for your business.

Are you ready to transition to Microsoft Windows 11 but not sure where to start? Contact us at for more information. We’re here to help you every step of the way, ensuring a seamless transition.