Windows 8.1 will be a decade old next year, so that means it will soon become an outdated operating system. On January 10, 2023, Microsoft will end extended support for this version, definitively closing its life cycle and, consequently, reducing its compatibility and security.
According to Statista data, Windows 8.1 is currently present on approximately 3% of computers running Microsoft operating systems. We are not facing a high market share, possibly because it has not been one of the most loved versions, but for all those who still use it, here are the news.
Microsoft says goodbye to Windows 8.1
As many of you already know, Microsoft changed its traditional update schedule with Windows 8. Instead of releasing a servicepack To update the operating system, the Redmond decided to launch Windows 8.1. The update sought to correct some of the main problems that affected the system.
Back then, a lot of users weren’t happy with Windows 8, and consultants like Gartner advised companies not to upgrade to Windows 8.1, but to stay on Windows 7 or wait for the release of Windows 10. After all, Microsoft is ready to let go of this operating system. Let’s see how it will affect users.
On January 10, 2023, Windows 8.1 will stop receiving updates security, quality updates, and bug fixes. What does this translate to? Mainly in an increase in security risks. And it is irrelevant that you have antivirus software. Certain security patches that fix vulnerabilities in the system simply won’t arrive.
While Windows 8.1 will still be able to run most previously installed programs, many new programs will require later versions to run, such as Windows 10 and Windows 11. This often happens because developers use resources to run their programs that are only available on the latest operating systems.
In the case of technical support, users will no longer be able to access the support options available online, although these are mainly aimed at corporate customers. The limitations will also be present at the hardware level. PSome newer components may not work with Windows 8.1 and, if it works, don’t do it 100%.
Microsoft explains that Windows 8.1 will also lose the ability to install new apps from the Microsoft Store starting January 10, 2023. This means that users will be able to download and continue using apps they got, but not new ones. In all cases, app updates via the Microsoft Store (including from third-party developers) will stop arriving on June 30, 2023.
As we’ve seen, staying on Windows 8.1 after end of support comes with certain risks. The ideal would be upgrade to a version of Windows that still has an active lifecycle. Here we find ourselves with two options: Windows 10 and Windows 11. In the case of the first, for a long time Microsoft offered the possibility of updating for free, but that alternative is no longer available.
The same goes for Windows 11. There is no way to upgrade for free from Windows 8.1 to the latest operating system from Microsoft. In this sense, the options are limited to obtaining a new license for some of the aforementioned operating systems or buying a new computer. In case of choosing Windows 10, it is necessary to remember that this OS will be supported until October 14, 2025.
Images: Microsoft | Wikimedia Commons
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