Microsoft is about to close a rather “painful” chapter in its history: the Windows 8 era. After the failure of the original operating system, which came on the heels of the highly successful Windows 7, Microsoft tried to fix some of the problems users had by releasing Windows 8.1. Of course, the Windows 8 problems were some fundamental ones related to the way certain elements of it worked, and now those still on Windows 8.1 will have to upgrade, either hardware or software.
When will Windows 8.1 updates stop
Windows 8.1 is nearing the end of its extended software support period. On January 10, Microsoft will stop all updates for this operating system and will no longer even offer regular security updates. It won’t even extend this period, as it has done in the past with Windows 7 and 8, so users who want to continue using their PCs safely will have two, or even three, options.
Either they upgrade to hardware, i.e. buy a new computer with a newer version of Windows pre-installed (especially in the case of laptops), or buy a Windows 10 or 11 license to upgrade on the PC they already have. However, Windows 11 may not work on computers released during Windows 8.1 due to lack of support for TPM 2.0.
Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users have had a few years to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, and Windows 10 users can upgrade to Windows 11 for free. Even though Microsoft has stated that free upgrades are over, many users have reported that they still work.
Those upgrading to Windows 10, however, won’t have much time with this operating system either. Microsoft plans to stop upgrades for it on October 14, 2025.