According to the Public Interest Research Group, roughly 40% of PCs currently in use cannot upgrade to Windows 11. | Rawf8/Shutterstock

As Microsoft prepares to end support for a huge number of Windows 10 devices, the Public Interest Research Group has started a petition to extend the support period for the operating system.

Microsoft plans to stop providing security updates for Windows 10 in 2025. According to the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), an NGO focused on consumer protection, public health and transportation, up to 400 million of the 1 billion Windows 10 devices still in use will be affected. 

PIRG recently delivered 20,000 petition signatures to the company calling for Microsoft to extend support to prevent the devices from entering the waste stream. 

Lucas Rockett Gutterman, PIRG’s Designed to Last campaign director, said in a press release that “Microsoft abandoning Windows 10 could cause the obsolescence of more computers than any single action ever.” 

About 40% of PCs in use can’t upgrade to Windows 11, the press release noted. 

“Microsoft needs to rethink this decision and continue providing security updates for the millions of people who can’t upgrade their computers, for the sake of both their finances and the environment,” he added.  

Gutterman said that it’s surprising that the company is forcing the transition to Windows 11, given their past actions and ambitious environmental goals. 

In the past, Microsoft has extended support for older operating systems. Windows XP users received security updates for 13 years, for example, and when Windows 10 was released, it was largely “backwards compatible,” meaning that most older computers were able to run the new operating system when Microsoft ended support for the existing Windows systems, the press release noted. 

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