Time to Upgrade—Microsoft Officially Ends Support for Windows 8.1

Say goodbye to technical assistance and software updates

Microsoft is officially closing the curtains on Windows 8.1, encouraging all users still with the operating system to transition to Windows 11. 

The tech giant is shuttering all support for the operating system, including technical assistance and software updates. Windows 8.1 has continued to remain in use, particularly in the business sector, but now there is no choice but to upgrade.

Windows 8

Clint Patterson / Unsplash

This transition is already in effect, so Microsoft recommends upgrading devices to a "current, in-service, and supported" operating system. If your device cannot handle Windows 11, the company suggests replacing the device entirely. 

Additionally, Microsoft is not offering an Extended Security Update (ESU) program for Windows 8.1, so companies that continue to use it will open themselves up to security risks and make it harder to meet compliance obligations. The company had operated one of these programs to allow Windows 7 enterprise users to transition to a newer OS. 

"While you could continue to use a PC running Windows 8.1, without continued software and security updates, your PC will be at greater risk for viruses and malware," the company writes in a Windows support post.

Windows 8.1 launched in October 2013, making it nearly ten years old today. Farewell, sweet prince. Say hi to Windows Vista, Windows 7, and the misunderstood Clippy avatar for us.

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