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When is Windows 8 and 8.1 End of Support?

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Introduction

Every piece of software, and often hardware, has a life cycle. This is no different with Microsoft Products. Though the term life cycle may be a misnomer. Windows is not going to become a frog after it loses it's tail or die off, but Microsoft will stop supporting it.

End of Life or End of Support for Microsoft products means that Microsoft will no longer work on or push updates to the operating system. While that doesn't mean you have to stop using the program, it does mean that viruses and malware and security bugs will not be patched. Without these security updates, your system will be very vulnerable.

Before You Begin:
Microsoft LogoWindows Lifecycle Fact Sheet
Microsoft's details the various versions of Windows, and when they will end support.
Windows 8 Logo

Is There a Difference Between 8 and 8.1?

The answer is no, not really. Windows 8.1 is considered a service pack for Windows 8. This means Windows 8.1 is a part of Windows 8 and is included in that life cycle.

If you have Windows 8, you can update it to Windows 8.1 to receive those features and security fixes. However, if you want to continue to get any updates you will need to upgrade to Windows 10 as Windows 8 has reached end of mainstream support.

1 When is End of Life or Support for Windows 8 and 8.1

Microsoft will begin Windows 8 and 8.1's end of life and support in January 2023. This means it will stop all support and updates to the operating system. Windows 8 and 8.1 already reached the end of Mainstream Support on January 9, 2018.

Right now the operating system is in what is known as extended support. Extended support offers security updates and bug fixes, as well as paid support, but you won't get any design or feature updates.

Will My Programs Still Work?

That all depends on the developers of your programs. Some will migrate to Windows 10 while others may still provide support for Windows 8.1. Usually developers will continue supporting an operating system for a little while after Microsoft does.

What Can I Do?

The easiest thing for you to do is just upgrade to Windows 10. Unfortunately, depending on the age of your hardware you may need an entirely new system for that. Fortunately there are ways you can easily migrate your data and even some of your programs over to a new system. It's not as hard to migrate as it was before and Windows 10 is shaping up to be one of the most secure Microsoft operating system in history.

With Windows 8 and 8.1 moving into the extended support phase, and especially if you intend to upgrade to Windows 10, it is highly recommended you back up the files on your computer to a cloud backup service or external hard drive, so you don't lose your important documents, images, videos and other files in case something happens.

As stated before; you are able to continue to use Windows 8.1 if you so choose. It's an older Operating System, and at this time no longer receiving mainstream support. Starting in 2023, you may encounter problems going forward with only yourself to support and fix them.

You can choose to upgrade to Windows 10, provided your computer supports it. Microsoft offers information on the system requirements necessary to run Windows 10.

In some cases, you may still be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for no cost.

What Can I Expect from Windows 10

If you're thinking about upgrading to Windows 10 here are some returning and new features:

  • The Start Menu is back!
  • A new better designed Windows Store.
  • Choose between a tablet mode and desktop mode.
  • DirectX 12 allows for improved CPU utilization in gaming.
  • The Action Center for system wide notifications.

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Every piece of software, and often hardware, has a life cycle. This is no different with Microsoft Products. Though the term life cycle may be a misnomer. Windows is not going to become a frog after it loses it's tail or die off, but Microsoft will stop supporting it.

End of Life or End of Support for Microsoft products means that Microsoft will no longer work on or push updates to the operating system. While that doesn't mean you have to stop using the program, it does mean that viruses and malware and security bugs will not be patched. Without these security updates, your system will be very vulnerable.

Before You Begin:
Microsoft LogoWindows Lifecycle Fact Sheet
Microsoft's details the various versions of Windows, and when they will end support.
Windows 8 Logo

Is There a Difference Between 8 and 8.1?

The answer is no, not really. Windows 8.1 is considered a service pack for Windows 8. This means Windows 8.1 is a part of Windows 8 and is included in that life cycle.

If you have Windows 8, you can update it to Windows 8.1 to receive those features and security fixes. However, if you want to continue to get any updates you will need to upgrade to Windows 10 as Windows 8 has reached end of mainstream support.

Microsoft will begin Windows 8 and 8.1's end of life and support in January 2023. This means it will stop all support and updates to the operating system. Windows 8 and 8.1 already reached the end of Mainstream Support on January 9, 2018.

Right now the operating system is in what is known as extended support. Extended support offers security updates and bug fixes, as well as paid support, but you won't get any design or feature updates.

Will My Programs Still Work?

That all depends on the developers of your programs. Some will migrate to Windows 10 while others may still provide support for Windows 8.1. Usually developers will continue supporting an operating system for a little while after Microsoft does.

What Can I Do?

The easiest thing for you to do is just upgrade to Windows 10. Unfortunately, depending on the age of your hardware you may need an entirely new system for that. Fortunately there are ways you can easily migrate your data and even some of your programs over to a new system. It's not as hard to migrate as it was before and Windows 10 is shaping up to be one of the most secure Microsoft operating system in history.

With Windows 8 and 8.1 moving into the extended support phase, and especially if you intend to upgrade to Windows 10, it is highly recommended you back up the files on your computer to a cloud backup service or external hard drive, so you don't lose your important documents, images, videos and other files in case something happens.

As stated before; you are able to continue to use Windows 8.1 if you so choose. It's an older Operating System, and at this time no longer receiving mainstream support. Starting in 2023, you may encounter problems going forward with only yourself to support and fix them.

You can choose to upgrade to Windows 10, provided your computer supports it. Microsoft offers information on the system requirements necessary to run Windows 10.

In some cases, you may still be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for no cost.

What Can I Expect from Windows 10

If you're thinking about upgrading to Windows 10 here are some returning and new features:

  • The Start Menu is back!
  • A new better designed Windows Store.
  • Choose between a tablet mode and desktop mode.
  • DirectX 12 allows for improved CPU utilization in gaming.
  • The Action Center for system wide notifications.