Microsoft will end support for Windows 8.1 on January 10, 2023. There is no workaround: Microsoft will not offer an extended support package for Windows 8.1. At this point, you have the choice: buy a new Windows PC or officially pay to upgrade to Windows 10 or Windows 11, since it is likely, given the strict hardware requirements of Windows 11, that a Windows 8/Windows 8.1 PC is not eligible for an upgrade to this operating system (Windows 11).
This note is not just for Windows. Microsoft encourages users to subscribe to Microsoft 365 (aka Microsoft Office), which regularly offers updates (fixes and new features) as part of an ongoing subscription. But once that date has passed, Microsoft will also stop offering both fixes and new features to Microsoft 365 for Windows 8.1 users, the company said.
With dramatically short life cycles, most IT departments routinely replace their workstations, servers and phones when they become slow, no longer receive operating system updates and/or are out of warranty. . In other cases, end users may be forced to move on due to product expiration liability.
Windows 8.1 will no longer be supported starting January 10, 2023. After this date, if you use Microsoft 365, you will no longer receive updates to Office applications, including feature, security, and quality updates. To continue receiving Microsoft 365 product updates, Microsoft recommends upgrading Windows 8 or 8.1 to a supported operating system. Microsoft 365 Apps are also no longer supported on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 after they reach their end of support date. To avoid performance and reliability issues, Microsoft recommends upgrading to a newer version of Windows.
- Windows 8 is no longer compatible since January 12, 2016 and no longer receives security updates. Therefore, if you use Microsoft 365 on a computer running Windows 8 and you are configured for automatic updates, you will no longer receive updates for Office applications, including feature, security and software updates, other quality updates.
- Windows 8.1 will end support on January 10, 2023. After this date, if you are running Microsoft 365, you will no longer receive updates to Office applications; this includes features, security and other quality updates.
Microsoft 365 is subject to the Modern Lifecycle Policy, which requires customers to stay current with the service and system requirements for the product or service, including using Microsoft 365 on a currently supported Windows operating system. Using Microsoft 365 on older, unsupported operating systems can cause performance and reliability issues over time.
To make sure Windows 8.1 users know this, since July Microsoft has been in the process of notifying them of the impending end of support. When users see the messages, they can click Learn more, Remind me later, or Remind me after the end of support date. Microsoft has previously used this type of message to ask users of older versions of Windows to upgrade to newer, still supported versions. Office on the web is an available alternative for those who are not yet ready to upgrade.
To maintain the reliability and stability of Microsoft 365, we strongly recommend that you take advantage of the latest hardware features by upgrading to a new PC running Windows 11, Microsoft says. PCs have changed significantly since the release of Windows 8.1 and Windows 8. Computers today are faster, more powerful and slimmer, and some come with Windows 11 already installed.
How to upgrade your operating system from Windows 8.1
If you’re currently using a Windows 8 PC, Microsoft acknowledges that the outlook may be bleak. This is because most Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 devices do not meet the hardware requirements for an upgrade to Windows 11. Alternatively, Windows 8 and 8.1 compatible PCs can be upgraded to Windows 10 by purchasing and installing a full version of the software .
Obviously, you have a choice: buy a new Windows 11 PC or upgrade to Windows 10. Officially, you’ll have to buy a copy. However, there may still be hope to upgrade to Windows 10 (then Windows 11) for free. Otherwise, you must upgrade to Windows 10 by purchasing a full version of the software.
However, before investing in an upgrade to Windows 10, it is recommended to consider that Windows 10 will reach its end of support date on October 14, 2025.
Historically, new versions of Windows 10 (also called feature updates) were released twice a year. Starting with Windows 10 version 21H2 (Windows 10 November 2021 Update), feature updates will be released annually in the second half of the year through the general availability channel.
As of September 6, 2018, Microsoft has expanded its service plan for customers who need more time to test and deploy Windows 10 feature updates.
Microsoft also notes that upgrading directly from Windows 8 to Windows 11, assuming it works, will overwrite your hard drive with the new operating system and delete its contents. An in-place upgrade that preserves your data is possible when you upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10 and then from Windows 10 to Windows 11. However, before upgrading to a new operating system, be sure to back up your donation if something goes wrong .
Frequently asked questions about Microsoft
What does end of support mean?
Starting January 10, 2023, computers running Windows 8.1 will still work, but Microsoft will no longer provide the following:
- Technical support for any problem
- Software updates
- Security updates or patches
Although you can continue to use a PC running Windows 8.1 without ongoing software and security updates, your PC will be more susceptible to viruses and malware. We recommend that you upgrade to a version of Windows that is still supported. A new device capable of running Windows 11 makes the transition easier and provides a great experience.
Does my Windows 8.1 computer stop working?
None. Support for Windows 8.1 has been discontinued, but the software will continue to function. However, after January 10, 2023, your computer running Windows 8.1 will no longer receive security updates. Additionally, Microsoft Customer Service will no longer be available for technical support for Windows 8.1.
What options do I have to stay on a supported version of Windows?
There are a few options for using a supported version of Windows:
- Recommended: New PC with Windows 11: Windows 11 is the latest version of Windows. If you have an older PC, we recommend upgrading to Windows 11 by purchasing a new PC. Hardware and software have improved a lot since the release of Windows 8.1, and today’s computers are faster, more powerful, and more secure.
- Installing Windows 11 on your current PC: you can also see if your current PC meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 11. PCs running Windows 8.1 are unlikely to meet these requirements, but if yours does, you can purchase and download a full version of Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro or buy from a dealer. If you choose this path, be aware that you will need to reinstall your applications (in some cases a newer version may be required) and take steps to transfer files, data and settings, as the installation will overwrite the contents of your existing storage disk. . It may be easier for you to upgrade to Windows 10 first (see the next option) and then upgrade to Windows 11.
- Installing Windows 10 on your current PC – Windows 10 is still available and will be supported until October 14, 2025. You can check if your current PC meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 10. If so, you can purchase and download a full version of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. You can also check with retailers if they still have Windows 10 for sale.
How to get Windows 11?
You can access Windows 11 in two ways:
- Recommended: New PC with Windows 11 – Windows 11 is the latest version of Windows. If you have an older PC, we recommend upgrading to Windows 11 by purchasing a new PC. Hardware and software have improved a lot since the release of Windows 8.1, and today’s computers are faster, more powerful, and more secure.
- Installing Windows 11 on your current PC: you can also check if your current PC meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 11. If so, you can purchase and download a full version of Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro or purchase from a reseller. . If you choose this path, be aware that you will need to reinstall your applications (in some cases a newer version may be required) and take steps to transfer files, data and settings, as the installation will overwrite the contents of your existing storage disk. . . It may be easier for you to upgrade to Windows 10 first (see What options do I have to stay supported on a Windows operating system for details) and then upgrade to Windows 11.
Are there options to upgrade to Windows 10 or Windows 11 for free?
We do not currently offer free upgrade paths from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 or Windows 11. If you would like to purchase a copy of Windows 10 or Windows 11, please see the links above or contact a reseller for options. Note: Upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is currently free.
Source: Microsoft (1, 2)
What operating system are you on?
What do you think can explain why users (business or personal) still end up on unsupported versions of Windows like Windows 7 or Windows 8?
Which option (not necessarily Windows) would you recommend for a professional user of Windows 8.1? an individual user of Windows 8.1?
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