According to Canalys, a staggering estimate suggests that approximately 240 million PCs may meet their demise in landfills following the conclusion of Microsoft’s free support for Windows 10 by October 2025. While paid support will be extended until October 2028, the cost-effectiveness of upgrading could render it a more viable option for users.
The release of Windows 11 brought forth a pivotal requirement: the necessity for computers to feature TPM 2.0 support, crucial for enhanced security. However, numerous older computers lack this compatibility, rendering them ineligible for the Windows 11 upgrade.
This stipulation necessitates the acquisition of new hardware. Canalys forecasts that a vast number of PCs—possibly 240 million—will face disposal, despite their functional adequacy. This predicament raises concerns about Microsoft’s environmental responsibility and sustainability efforts.
For users encountering compatibility issues with TPM 2.0, alternative measures exist to mitigate the burgeoning landfill crisis. One option involves transitioning to Linux Mint, Ubuntu, or another Linux distribution.
Linux exhibits seamless functionality across various computer systems and installing it via a USB using the ISO image is a relatively straightforward process, typically consuming around 30 minutes. Given the considerable shift towards online computing, the dearth of Windows-specific software on Linux platforms is less inhibiting than before.
In cases where a reliance on Windows remains imperative, and disposal of the older PC is imminent, salvaging removable components proves beneficial. Extracting items such as hard drives and memory (in laptops) remains viable. Repurposing these components—transforming hard drives into external storage via cases available on e-commerce platforms like Amazon or utilizing the RAM for additional memory in compatible devices—offers a sustainable alternative. Additionally, selling these salvageable parts can be financially advantageous.
Prospective purchasers considering a new PC might benefit from exploring Neowin’s deals page, where substantial discounts on PCs and various products are available. Notably, these offerings contribute to keeping Neowin’s services free for its readers.
As the tech landscape evolves and Windows 10 support nears its end, exploring alternative solutions and maximizing the potential of existing hardware could significantly alleviate the environmental impact while addressing users’ computing needs.