So, as of January 2023, Microsoft has dropped support for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. What does this mean and what should you do?
Windows 8, Microsoft’s awkward transition between Windows 7 and Windows 10, sunset its official support on January 10th, 2023after debuting in 2012.
While not necessarily a bad operating system, it wasn’t one of Microsoft’s best versions of Windows. There were millions of complaints on its initial launch, most of which had to do with the clunky, smartphone-like user interface. Due to this, most users remained on Windows 7, which had a quick and responsive environment.
Later on in Windows 8’s life, a revision was released, titled Windows 8.1. This update brought several new features to the table, as well as Quality of Life improvements over the initial release.
So, Microsoft has dropped support for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. What does this mean and what should you do?
When Microsoft ends support for a product, this means that there will be no more feature updates and cumulative updates, which are vital to keep the operating system running at its best. More importantly, this also means that the operating system will no longer receive security updates, putting your device at risk and leaving it vulnerable. Applications will also slowly stop supporting this version of the operating system and will focus all of their attention on currently supported versions, if they haven’t already.
To avoid putting your device and data at risk, it is recommended to update to the latest or a supported version of Windows. If this isn’t possible due to hardware limitations, then it may be time to move on to a new computer. Cyberattackers seek out vulnerabilities to exploit in retired operating systems and programs, so using them past their expiration date is not advised.
As of now, Windows 10 and Windows 11 are the currently supported versions of Windows, with Windows 10 ending its support on October 14, 2025, which is still a long time away.
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