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Microsoft Windows 10 End of Life, End of Support

Windows 10 End of Life: Five PC E-Waste Reduction Solutions, Including Google ChromeOS and ITAD

December 21, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

When Microsoft ends Windows 10 support in October 2025, roughly 240 million PCs could become e-waste, market research firm Canalys estimates.

For channel partners -- including distributors, IT consulting firms, resellers and MSPs -- the Windows 10 end-of-life deadline represents both a challenge and an opportunity.

Among the variables to keep in mind:

  • Windows 10 will reach end of support on October 14, 2025, according to Microsoft.
  • 57% of channel partners expect the end of Windows 10 support to affect customers’ refresh plans in 2024, with one in three devices expected to be replaced in the next two years, Canalys reported.
  • Millions of PCs that run Windows 10 lack the hardware horsepower to run Windows 11.

The big question: How can channel partners keep millions of Windows 10 PCs out of landfills? Here are a five suggestions:

1. Refresh Windows 10 PCs With Google ChromeOS: Indeed, Google is pitching ChromeOS as a Windows 10 replacement than can run on most x86 devices. ChromeOS is a lightweight Linux operating system. Here's some guidance on how to turn an old laptop into a Chromebook, according to PCWorld.

2. Align With Distributors and IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Partners: ITAD partner programs allow technology to be reused, recycled, donated, or sold through the circular economy.  Annual spending on ITAD is expected to reach $34 billion by 2030, up from $16.8 billion in 2022, according to Research and Markets. That's a 9.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), the researcher said.

Three market trends are driving ITAD demand, according to Kevin Corrigan, executive director for US Channel ITAD at Ingram Micro:

Kevin Corrigan, executive director, US Channel ITAD, Ingram Micro
Kevin Corrigan, executive director, US Channel ITAD, Ingram Micro
  • Environmentalism and carbon reduction: Partners and customers are increasingly aligning with internal goals and government mandates to reduce their carbon footprints.
  • Data privacy and security: Partners and customers want to ensure that data is truly wiped clean from used equipment.
  • Asset recovery value: ITAD allows technology to be reused, recycled, donated, or sold through the circular economy.

3. Explore Hardware as a Service (HaaS): In a HaaS business model, MSPs typically refresh one-third to one-quarter of customer PCs each year. Customers "pay as they go" through a subscription or leasing model for the hardware. MSPs, in turn, align HaaS with ITAD to ensure end-of-life hardware avoids e-waste and landfills whenever possible.

4. Activate ITAM (IT Asset Management) and RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) Software: Through ITAM and RMM, partners can gain a view of customers' existing hardware assets. Armed with that visibility, partners can properly plan PC refreshes that align with ITAD and HaaS programs.

5. Integrate with Hardware Warranty Management Software Platforms: Here again, partners can gain visibility and proactively manage hardware warranties -- and align those warrantees with ITAD, HaaS, ITAM and RMM software efforts.

What did we miss? If you're taking steps to keep Windows 10 PCs out of landfills, please send me an email describing your strategy. We'll give your note a look and potentially share your thoughts with our readership.

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