Microsoft is ending Windows 8 support on January 12th. These odd state of affairs are a result of Microsoft’s treatment of Windows 8.1 as a service pack to Windows 8. Well, if you are running Windows 8 on your PC, there are 3 options for you — upgrade to Windows 8.1, upgrade to Windows 10, or downgrade to Windows 7.
Windows 8 was released just three years ago. One might easily assume that their not-so-great OS came with Microsoft’s regular 10-year support policy. However, there’s a twist in Windows 8 support cycle — as a result, it runs out on January 12th. So, if you are running Windows 8, it’s time to upgrade.
But, how did this happen? Over the past years, we have learned that Windows Vista will continue getting security updates until April 11, 2017, and Windows 7 users will get the same until January 14, 2020. So, how is Microsoft treating Windows 8 differently?
Why Is Microsoft Ending Windows 8 Support?
On January 12, Microsoft will be rolling out its first Patch Tuesday of 2016 that will be the last batch of Windows 8 updates.
The reason? Well, Microsoft is treating Windows 8.1 just as a service pack for Windows 8 users. According to the rules, you can hold off installing a service pack just for two years. If you want to read the exact words said by Redmond, here they are:
Windows 8, support ends 24 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product’s support lifecycle, whichever comes first. If you are using software without the latest service pack you won’t be offered any new security or non-security updates, although preexisting updates will continue to be offered.
With Windows 8.1, Microsoft promised tons of bug fixes, new features, and enhancements. While Windows 8.1 reaches its end of support on January 10, 2023, the end of Windows 8 has finally arrived.
The Big Question – What Should I Do Now?
If you choose to ignore this news, your Windows 8 PC will be exposed to unpatched security risks. So, to avoid those, we advise you to consider these options:
Upgrade to Windows 8.1:
If you love Windows 8 and want something familiar, go for it as Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade for Windows 8 users. Windows 8.1 comes with support until January 10, 2023.
Upgrade to Windows 10:
There’s also an option to upgrade your PC to the latest Windows iteration i.e. Windows 10. Again, it’s free of charge and a few clicks away. Windows 10 comes with support until October 14, 2025.
Downgrade to Windows 7:
The support for Windows 7 lasts until January 14, 2020. If you are in love with the world’s most popular OS, go for it.
While Microsoft could justify this step by calling it straight from the rule-book, it could also be seen as a strategy to lure users into upgrading to Windows 10.
So, which path are you going to follow? Let us know in the comments below.