Microsoft is ending support for one of its operating systems. From January 10th 2023, extended support for the OS will come to an end. Mainstream support for Windows 8.1 ended in January 2021, and there are only a few more months for users to find a replacement before the software is unsupported.
Windows 8.1 hasn’t had the popularity of Windows 7 or 10. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there using it every day who will need to think about what to do next.
Running Windows 8.1 on any of your PCs? Here’s what you need to know prior to January 10th 2023.
What Will Happen to My Windows 8.1 Machines?
Computers with Windows 8.1 as their operating system will still work. They won’t stop working after the date. It does mean that Microsoft will stop providing technical support on any issues. Most importantly, they will stop releasing security updates. As a result, Windows 8.1 could become vulnerable to cyber threats – especially new threats designed to exploit flaws in the software.
Some previous Microsoft operating systems have received extended security updates, at a cost, but this won’t be an option for Windows 8.1. We suspect that’s down to the overall popularity of the OS, compared to the hugely popular Windows 7.
What Should You Do With Windows 8.1 Computers?
If you have a Windows 8.1 computer, there are a few options. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as straight forward as with previous OS end of life changes.
Upgrade to Windows 11
Windows 11 is Microsoft’s newest operating system, with the first version released in October 2021. Windows 11 is currently free to download for Windows 8.1 users, but there is a catch. Not all computers are eligible for Windows 11 – there are certain specifications required to make the upgrade. Download the Windows 11 compatibility checker to see if your device meets the minimum requirements.
Upgrade to Windows 10
Windows 10 is Microsoft’s most popular OS. Approximately 77% of all Windows users are running Windows 10, with Windows 11 gaining popularity all the time. If your device is unable to run Windows 11, 10 is a great option. But there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Windows 10 is no longer a free download – make sure to check the Microsoft website for an up-to-date price. The second thing to consider is that Windows 10 will reach end of life in the next few years. Support will be in place for a few years to come, but it is worth considering before upgrading to Windows 10.
If your computer is running Windows 8.1, chances are you’ve had it for a few years. You might decide that this is the perfect time to consider replacing it with something new, especially if you’ve notices any performance issues. All computers eventually need to be replaced, and you could end up with a shiny new device with Microsoft’s latest operating system. You shouldn’t then need to think about any replacements for a good few years. Go on, treat yourself!
If you are using Windows 8.1, you should think about upgrading the software or device soon. You don’t want to leave it too late, or risk continuing to use out-of-date software. Check out our three recommendations and see which would be the right options for you.
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