According to StatCounter, Windows 8 and 8.1 still account for about 4.3 percent of the Windows install base worldwide, far less than Windows 11, Windows 10, or even Windows 7. But for the people still using Windows 8.1, the end of the line is in sight. ZDNet reports that Microsoft will soon begin pushing out notifications to the remaining Windows 8.1 users, warning them that support and security updates will be ending on January 10, 2023, and recommending that they move to a newer operating system (Windows 8.0 support ended in 2016).
Microsoft provided similar end-of-support messages to Windows 7 users when its updates dried up back in January 2020. ZDNet says that users will be able to click the notification messages to learn more or dismiss them until after the end-of-support date arrives.
That January 2023 date does appear to be a hard cutoff. Microsoft says it has no plans to offer ongoing Windows 8.1 security updates to businesses that choose to pay for them, as it has with Windows 7. Businesses willing to fork over the money can still get security updates for Windows 7 until 2023, but Windows 7 is still running on 13 percent of all Windows PCs worldwide. It justifies the continued effort and expense on Microsoft’s part in a way that continuing to support the much-less-popular Windows 8 would not.
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