Remember earlier this month when that outrigger ordered a tombstone for Internet Explorer that didn’t leave much? Well, he might want to reserve the adjacent plot for Windows 8.1.
While IE’s viral tombstone had an inscription: “It was a good tool for downloading other browsers,” Windows 8.1’s tombstone might declare: “We liked it a bit more than its older brother.”
The desktop operating system, which aims to correct some of the glaring flaws of the disastrous touch-focused Windows 8 platform, will get its last rights early next year.
Microsoft has reiterated that extended support for Windows 8.1 will officially end on January 10, 2023. The company says that very few users who are still sticking with 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 the support page. “If you have Windows 8.1 devices, we recommend upgrading them to a newer, in-service, supported Windows version.”
Only about 3% of all Windows users are still stuck with Windows 8.1, while the majority are skewed with Windows 10, which will likely become the only upgrade path available for these users.
According to Statcounter from GlobalStats, in the year from May 2021 to May 2022, the Windows desktop market share led by Windows 10 was 71.82% of active devices. Windows 7 ranks second with 13.03%, while the latest Windows 11 is still stuck at 10.08%. Windows 8.1 has 3.06% share.
If Windows 8.1 users want to join Windows 11, they will likely need a brand new PC, given the latter’s hardware requirements. Given that Windows 8.1 is close to 9 years old, this might not be a bad idea anyway.
Windows 8.1 will no longer be unusable next January, but Microsoft will completely stop addressing any bugs and security flaws that may be discovered after that date. In fact, Microsoft discontinued full support in January 2021, so you should probably have upgraded already if you were worried about that kind 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 an initial pick from the best Trusted Reviews testers.