While the viral headstone for IE, bore the epitaph: “He was a good tool to download other browsers,” the Windows 8.1 tombstone might announce: “We liked him slightly more than his older brother.”
The desktop operating system, which aimed to rectify some of the glaring flaws of the disastrous touch-centric Windows 8 platform, will receive its last rights early next year.
Microsoft has reaffirmed that extended support for Windows 8.1 will officially end on January 10 2023. The company says the very few users still sticking Windows 8.1 will start receiving notifications with the countdown to cutoff (via ZDnet).
“As a reminder, Windows 8.1 will reach end of support on January 10, 2023, at which point technical assistance and software updates will no longer be provided,” the company says on a support page. “If you have devices running Windows 8.1, we recommend upgrading them to a more current, in-service, and supported Windows release.”
Only around 3% of all Windows users are still hanging in there with Windows 8.1, while the majority are rocking Windows 10, which will probably become the only available upgrade path for those users.
According to GlobalStats’ Statcounter, in the year spanning May 2021 to May 2022, the desktop market share for Windows was led by Windows 10 at 71.82% of active devices. Windows 7 is in second place at 13.03%, while the latest Windows 11 OS is still stuck back on 10.08%. Windows 8.1 has 3.06% share.
If Windows 8.1 users want to get on board with Windows 11 then they’ll likely need a brand new PC, due to the latter’s hardware requirements. Considering Windows 8.1 is approaching 9 years old, that might not be a bad idea anyway.
Windows 8.1 won’t become unusable next January, but Microsoft will completely stop addressing any bugs and security flaws that may are discovered after that date. In fact, Microsoft stopped full support in January 2021, so you probably should have upgraded already if you’re concerned about that sort of thing.
If you’re in the market for a new laptop before the end of the year, check out our best laptops 2022 guide for the primo selection from Trusted Reviews’ finest testers.