PSA: Windows 8.1 Extended Support ends today.


Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system (OS) has finally reached its end-of-support date after nearly a decade.

Starting today, January 10, 2023, the Redmond tech giant will no longer provide software updates, technical support, or security patches to the OS. If you continue to use the OS after that date, you won’t notice anything different immediately. However, since the OS no longer receives security updates, your system will become more vulnerable to viruses, ransomware, and other security threats.

Also, if your PC has a problem, it will be difficult to get support without paying a premium. Finally, some programs may no longer function properly as some software manufacturers discontinue support for Windows 8.1.

Reintroduced on October 17, 2013, Windows 8.1 was Microsoft’s response to many negative user complaints about Windows 8. It brought back the Start button (but not the menu), giving users the ability to boot directly to the desktop instead of booting to the desktop. Start screen, and includes a unified search system based on Bing. In addition to these, Windows 8.1 also had tighter integration with SkyDrive (now OneDrive), a transparent device encryption system based on BitLocker on compatible devices, and support for 3D printing.

According to Statcounter, As of December 2022, 2.59% of PCs worldwide still run Windows 8.1.. If your PC is one of them, you can easily upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost using your existing Windows 8.1 key. There’s also the option of Windows 11, but that route may be more difficult to take due to the OS’s stricter system requirements. By upgrading to a more modern OS, you regain access to new features, security updates and support.

Personally, I appreciate Microsoft for coming up with Windows 8.1. While it wasn’t until Windows 10 that I believe Microsoft offered the best of both worlds for touch and traditional PC users, it was an admission from the Redmond dev that Windows 8 needed a lot of work. It also showed that the company is committed to people using a keyboard and mouse combination despite the OS’s touch-heavy interface.

In Windows 8.1, we bid you farewell.


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