The end is near! Windows 8.1 is nearing sunset, as Microsoft has officially ended mainstream support for this version of the operating system this week. It will no longer receive new features and updates.
Other than security patches, of course.
This development follows this month’s Patch Tuesday rollout, meaning Redmond will no longer ship updates to systems still running Windows 8.1 following this update cycle. This OS will continue to receive extended support, though, until January 10, 2023.
After which it will become unsupported.
Microsoft’s lifecycle fact sheet has more information and specific dates.
As the software titan explains in its official support documents, an operating system receives incident support, security update support, and the ability to request non-security updates while it us under mainstream support.
Incident support includes no-charge support, paid support, and support that is charged on an hourly basis, as well as support for warranty claims.
However, once a product enters extended support, it is only eligible for paid support, and security update support at no additional cost. While non-security related updates require Extended Hotfix Support to be purchased.
All that said, even though the end of Windows 8.1 is now approaching, this is not something that should be too much of a concern for the software titan. An overwhelming majority of users have already migrated to Windows 10.
The latest NetMarketShare data reveals that Windows 8.1 is running on just 5.71% of systems worldwide. Windows 7, for comparison, remains the leading choice of the operating system install base, with no less than 43.08% rocking it.
Windows 10, meanwhile, is up there in second place with 32.93%.
What this means is that starting January 9, the focus for Microsoft will now shift on getting Windows 7 users to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system. That old version still powers more or less one in every two computers the world over.
For Windows 8.1, though, it has been a good run, a job well done.