Why is Microsoft ending support for Windows 8.1?

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The era of Windows 8 is gradually coming to an end. The Redmond-based tech giant ended support for Windows 8 in January 2016 and recently announced that it will now end support for its older sibling, Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 offered a more stable user experience and was an improvement over Windows 8. But like all Windows products, it was doomed. Read on to find out when it’s ending, why it’s ending, and what it means for users.

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When does support for Windows 8.1 end?

Support for Windows 8.1 will end on January 10, 2023. Shortly after saying goodbye to Windows Explorer, Microsoft announced a date marking the end of support for Windows 8.1, which will take place in about 5 months. The company also announced that users will see a Windows 8.1 update notification starting in July informing them of Microsoft’s end of support.

As such, Windows 8.1 users need to decide what to do quickly before its support date ends. This will help avoid a host of adverse circumstances when upgrading to a new version of Windows or switching to an alternative operating system, such as macOS or Linux.


Why is support for Windows 8.1 ending?

Microsoft has decided to end support for the Windows 8.1 version due to its UI flaws. Moreover, the tech giant wants to devote more time to providing a more stable environment for its users with Windows 10 and 11.

Microsoft was criticized for the first mobile UI design of its Windows 8 version in 2012. The company later released the Windows 8.1 version with a desktop-like UI design to address these issues.

Although it provided a better user experience, Windows 8.1 did not fully resolve most user interface issues. As such, Microsoft needed a newer version to address its user interface limitations and appeal to users who had previously abandoned Windows for alternative operating systems.

To this end, Microsoft has released new versions of Windows (10 and 11) that provide better user interface experience by combining mobile and desktop functionality.

Despite their desire to give Windows 8.1 a chance, many users encountered problems with their computers and opted to upgrade to newer versions of Windows. Therefore, Microsoft finally decided to no longer support Windows 8.1.

What does this mean for Windows 8.1 users?

By ending support for the operating system, Microsoft has sent a clear signal to Windows 8.1 users. People still on 8.1 should quickly decide whether to upgrade to a newer version of Windows or switch to an alternative operating system, such as macOS or Linux.

After January 10, 2023, Windows 8.1 users will no longer receive security updates and other related updates from Microsoft. You may still be able to use it unattended, but your productivity will likely suffer in an unsecured environment. Additionally, vital Microsoft apps will no longer be supported on Windows 8.1.

Which Microsoft apps no longer support Windows 8.1?

After support ends, Microsoft 365 and other versions of Office will no longer be supported on Windows 8.1, per Microsoft’s modern lifecycle policy. If you’re still using Microsoft 365 on Windows 8.1, you will no longer receive Office app updates, including feature updates, bug fixes, and other privacy security updates.

Non-subscription versions of Office, such as Office Home & Student, Office Home & Business, and Office Professional Plus, will continue to be supported under the fixed lifecycle policy. However, Windows 8.1 will no longer receive security updates, leaving these apps vulnerable to security threats.

Additionally, Microsoft will no longer provide an Extended Security Update (ESU) program for Windows 8.1 after January 10, 2023. Therefore, continued use of Windows 8.1 may increase your exposure to security risks or affect its performance. ability to meet compliance obligations.

As such, Windows 8.1 users are strongly advised to upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 to avoid performance and user experience issues in the future.

It’s time for an upgrade

If a user is already running Windows 8.1, Microsoft recommends upgrading to a newer version of Windows 10 or 11. Upgrading to Windows 11 is strongly recommended. However, Microsoft said most Windows 8.1 PCs will not be compatible with Windows 11 versions due to hardware limitations.

The best option for Windows 8.1 users is to get a new PC with pre-installed Windows 11 builds. Alternatively, users can upgrade to Windows 10 builds on a budget. However, you should also consider that Microsoft will end its support in October 2025.

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