The end of life of Windows 8.1 is coming soon, with extended support for the operating system scheduled to end in early 2023.
Mainstream support for Windows 8.1 ended on January 9, 2021, and next month, Microsoft will begin sending reminders to users that support will end entirely on January 10, 2023.
Only a small minority of Windows users are still using Windows 8.1, 3.06% according to the latest statistics, topped by the 71.82% using Windows 10.
What this means?
Computers running Windows 8.1 will still work, but Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for any issues, including security updates and patches for tools such as office software.
While you can continue to use a Windows 8.1 PC, without ongoing software and security updates, your PC will be at greater risk of viruses and malware, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft also says it will not offer Extended Security Updates for Windows 8.1 (opens in new tab)as in previous iterations such as Windows 7.
What should you do?
If you are still using the operating system, Microsoft recommends that you download Windows 11 or Windows 10, although it does not provide any free upgrade paths.
Windows 10 still has a lot of life left and the software giant is not expected to retire the operating system until October 14, 2025.
Developed under the codename “Blue”, Windows 8.1 received better reviews than its predecessor Windows 8 when it was released in August 2013, which introduced several big changes at once.
Unfortunately for many of those affected by end-of-life, many Windows 8.1 machines will not work when it comes to running Windows 11.
A survey by IT asset management firm Lansweeper found that 55% of devices are not Windows 11 compatible, and a major point of contention is the TPM, with nearly half of desktop TPMs (47%) failing meet the requirements.