Over 240 mn PCs to end up as e-waste once Microsoft ends Windows 10 support, finds study

Microsoft’s decision to terminate support for the Windows 10 operating system may result in the disposal of approximately 240 million PCs,

Microsoft’s decision to terminate support for the Windows 10 operating system may result in the disposal of approximately 240 million personal computers (PCs), contributing to electronic waste, according to findings from Canalys Research.

The potential impact could lead to an estimated 480 million kilograms of electronic waste, equivalent to the weight of 320,000 cars, all of which can end up in landfills across the world.

While many PCs may remain operational for years after the end of Windows 10 support, Canalys cautioned that demand for devices lacking security updates could diminish.

Related Articles


Microsoft launches Small Language Model Phi-2: What are SLMs, how are they different to LLMs like ChatGPT?


Drake at your fingertips: Microsoft’s Copilot can now create songs, music based on texts

Microsoft has outlined plans to provide security updates for Windows 10 devices until October 2028, with the pricing details for this extended support yet to be disclosed.

Canalys expressed concern that if the pricing structure for extended Windows 10 support follows historical trends, migrating to newer PCs might be more cost-effective. This could, in turn, lead to a higher number of older PCs being discarded, contributing to electronic waste.

Microsoft’s goal is to discontinue support for Windows 10 by October 2025, anticipating the launch of the next generation of the operating system. This new version is expected to integrate advanced artificial intelligence technology, potentially revitalizing the sluggish PC market.

The electronic waste generated from discarded PCs has environmental implications, but efforts are being made to recycle components for sustainable purposes.

Hard drives used in personal computers and data storage servers, for example, can be recycled to obtain materials for use in electric vehicle motors and renewable power generation.

Speaking to Reuters, Noveon Magnetics Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Afiuny, highlighted the potential to repurpose end-of-life computers, stating, “Turning end-of-life computers into the magnets that power sustainable technologies like electric vehicles and wind turbines will help meet the rising global demand for electricity.”

Afiuny also emphasized the issue of discarding hard drives prematurely, contributing to an excess of rare earth magnetic material waste.

Additionally, Redwood Materials, a battery recycling firm, noted that batteries can be nearly infinitely recycled to recover valuable metals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper.

Despite the challenges posed by electronic waste, there are ongoing efforts to explore sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches to managing discarded technology components.

(With inputs from agencies)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *