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Summary: Microsoft has officially announced the end of support for Windows 8.1 on January 10, 2023. After this date, the operating system won’t receive updates or technical support. Users are advised to upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 to ensure security. The article suggests options for staying supported and emphasizes the importance of transitioning before the deadline.

Microsoft has formally announced the discontinuation of support for Windows 8.1, a notable operating system. The extended support for versions predating Windows 10 will conclude on January 10, 2023.

After January 10, 2023, Windows 8.1 won’t be getting any more security or development updates, and Microsoft won’t be offering technical support for it. To make sure you continue receiving crucial security updates, it’s recommended to upgrade to Windows 10 or 11.

‘End Support’ explained

On January 10, 2023, Windows 8.1 will officially enter its end-of-life phase. To delve into this concept, Microsoft releases various Windows versions with a designated lifecycle. Throughout this timeframe, the specific Windows version undergoes continuous support, encompassing security updates, technical assistance, and quality enhancements. Once the support duration concludes, the Windows version remains operational but forfeits regular updates.

Microsoft offers two types of support: Mainstream Support and Extended Support. Mainstream Support lasts for the initial five years. After its launch in November 2013, Windows 8.1 enjoyed Mainstream Support until January 2018. Since then, it has been under Extended Support Update (ESU), which is scheduled to conclude in January 2023.

If your systems run on Windows 8.1, beyond January 2023, they’ll still operate, but don’t expect any technical support or routine updates. This leaves your system exposed to significant risks like viruses, malware, and security threats. As time progresses, it’s likely to face increasing vulnerabilities and dwindling app development, given the platform’s obsolete status.

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How to stay supported on the Windows operating system?

To ensure you receive consistent updates and technical assistance from Microsoft, it’s essential to transition to either Windows 10 or 11.
Below are a few options to use post-January 10, 2023, to work with the Windows operating system.

  • Upgrade to Windows 11
    The most recent iteration of Windows is Windows 11, unveiled in October 2021. If you’re currently on Windows 8.1, there’s a chance your system may not meet the requirements for Windows 11. In the event that it does, you’ll need to adhere to specific specifications before making the leap to Windows 11.

    Before making the switch to Windows 11, make sure to reinstall all your applications with their most recent versions. Prioritize creating a system backup to prevent any data loss before initiating the update process.

  • Upgrade to Windows 10
    Windows 10 will continue to receive support from Microsoft until October 2025, and upgrading your system to Windows 10 is still an option. If you encounter challenges upgrading to Windows 11, you can effortlessly download and update to Windows 10 as an alternative. The majority of systems currently running Windows 8.1 are compatible with Windows 10.
  • Buy a New Device
    If your system is still running on Windows 8.1, chances are it won’t be compatible with Windows 11. Opting for a new system is the recommended course of action. While upgrading to Windows 10 might seem like a temporary fix, you’ll eventually need to transition to a newer version. Investing in a new device ensures a longer period of security, sparing you the need for further replacements.

    • A new PC will be faster and more compatible with the latest Windows version.
    • You will get built-in security without any additional cost.

Final words

If your systems are still running on Windows 8.1, now is the perfect moment to upgrade to the latest version. Given that it’s already December, sticking with an outdated Windows version poses significant risks to your system’s security and may hinder your productivity. I believe it’s an opportune time for you to invest in a new PC that is compatible with Windows 11, ensuring you access all the latest features and security updates.

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