Windows 10 2004 is nearing the end of the road. Time for a Windows 11 upgrade?

Surface Go users need not apply

As the monthly Patch Tuesday excitement got under way this week, Microsoft issued a reminder that the first Windows of the pandemic, Windows 10 2004, was due for the chop. An upgrade to Windows 11 is in order, unless one is using Surface hardware bought around that time.

The impending demise of Windows 10 2004 has been etched, since its debut, in the calendar of the administrators who elected to install it. While its numbering might imply origins almost two decades ago, the 20 indicates the year 2020, while the 04 means April. So obviously it wasn't until May that year before users got their hands on the code.

Microsoft's early Christmas present for administrators will come on 14 December when security updates and patches will cease. The advice from the Windows behemoth is to upgrade to Windows 11 if possible; an option sadly not available to all. These include users of Microsoft's own Surface Go, which was on sale as 2020 opened. The original Go was equipped with an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU, which sadly does not appear on the infamous hardware compatibility list for Windows 11.

Later Surface Gos can cope with the wunder-OS.

As of October, Window 10 2004 was installed on 14.1 per cent of PCs, according to AdDuplex's survey. Upgrading to a later version of Windows 10 should be relatively straightforward; an enablement package can be applied to activate the limited number of new toys that await.

"Versions 2004, 20H2, and 21H1 share a common core operating system," said Microsoft, even though version 2004 is for the chop in December.

Windows 11 should be easier to follow, with feature updates coming on an annual basis in the second half of the year and 24 months of support on tap for Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro Education edition. Education and Enterprise editions get 36 months of support. Windows 10, on the other hand, enjoyed feature updates twice a year receiving 18 or 30 months of support depending on lifecycle policy.

Windows 10, the pig upon which Microsoft applied the Windows 11 lipstick, will continue to be supported until October 2025, more than a decade after the OS first made its debut. ®

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