Windows 8 users have two years to update to Windows 8.1 before support ends

Microsoft would certainly love for every person who owns a Windows 8 PC to download and install the free Windows 8.1 update when it is officially released next week. It certainly has a number of improvements and new features compared to the version of the OS that launched in 2012. But what if there is a reason for you to keep using Windows 8 and ignore Windows 8.1?

We can't imagine what that reason might be, but just in case you want to keep Windows 8 for a while longer, Microsoft has revealed on their support page that it will have a very quick shelf life. The page states, "Windows 8 customers will have two years to move to Windows 8.1 after the General Availability of the Windows 8.1 update to continue to remain supported under the Windows 8 lifecycle." That means Windows 8 support, at least for the version that launched a year ago, will officially end on October 18th, 2015.

If you do decide to upgrade to Windows 8.1, Microsoft will continue to support the OS under its main support lifecycle time period, with mainstream support ending on January 9th, 2018 and extended support continuing until January 10th, 2023. In other words, there's very little to keep anyone with a Windows 8 PC from downloading Windows 8.1.

Source: Microsoft

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We can't imagine what that reason might be

Two reasons for me to stay at RT 8.

1. USB wired Ethernet support (unless they've finally fixed that). They broke the one working driver for Windows RT in the 8.1 Preview. Sorry, but due to the VPN fail situation they've created in RT, the main way I have to use my Surface RT at work (accessing shared resources) is wired Ethernet, and it works quite well. I'd like to keep this functionality thank you very much.

2. Third-party desktop apps. Until a new way to "jailbreak" RT 8.1 is found, I'll be sticking with RT 8.0. It is completely brain-dead that I actually have to hack it to run desktop "windows" apps to begin with. I was really hopping Microsoft would provide an official way to change the signing restrictions for those of us that want to use the desktop side of Windows on ARM. Or at least leave it alone. But no... they went out of their way to make sure it wouldn't work in 8.1. I find this extremely aggravating.

Remove support or whatever. I don't like all further tablet infestation on Win 8 and will remain on it for a while.

Nothing new, has always been like this: when a new version with the same brand in Windows was released that follows it's precessors release cycle, it's Always 2 years.

Windows 7 only had one service pack. So Windows 8.1 is fundamentally Windows 8 with Service Pack 1. Additionally Microsoft serviced Windows 8 with some new features, thus is why 8.1 is really Windows 8 SP1. I hope Windows 9 will go back to Window's roots and be more desktop oriented when it comes out. Windows 8 is great on tablets and touch displays, but not so much on traditional PCs

Edited by Atomic Wanderer Chicken, Oct 12 2013, 8:15pm :

Yea, that's the cliché, but I use it on my dual monitor desktop development box and it works just fine. It's better than 7 because I now get the task bar across all the monitors.

8.1 isn't a service pack at all. No SP has ever added anything close to as many new features, or a new kernel. MS do yearly Windows releases now. There will be no Win 9 for a very long time. The next Windows version will be 8.2, which also WONT be a SP.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Windows 7 only had one service pack. So Windows 8.1 is fundamentally Windows 8 with Service Pack 1. Additionally Microsoft serviced Windows 8 with some new features, thus is why 8.1 is really Windows 8 SP1. I hope Windows 9 will go back to Window's roots and be more desktop oriented when it comes out. Windows 8 is great on tablets and touch displays, but not so much on traditional PCs

Honestly some see it as a SP and others don't because of how many new things it brings. Still, people need to remember one thing, there's a rumor that later in 2014 around the time Windows Phone 8.1 is released that Windows 8.1 will see it's own GDR update as well. So, if 8.1 is a service pack, what is the rumored GDR update then?

This is how it's always been (similar to Service Packs).

Though, I do wish they made it shorter... 2 years is fairly long. In today's world, it should be 1 year to encourage people to upgrade to future versions faster.

Amen to that. Most especially, since Windows-8 is such a huge backward step for traditional business uses and hardware. I know it might be considered a vain hope...when is Windows-9 going to come out, fixing the Windows-8 mess?

TsarNikky said,
Amen to that. Most especially, since Windows-8 is such a huge backward step for traditional business uses and hardware. I know it might be considered a vain hope...when is Windows-9 going to come out, fixing the Windows-8 mess?

What Windows 8 mess? The one in your mind?

TsarNikky said,
Amen to that. Most especially, since Windows-8 is such a huge backward step for traditional business uses and hardware. I know it might be considered a vain hope...when is Windows-9 going to come out, fixing the Windows-8 mess?

And what a mess it is, MS has had some big messes in the past but nothing big enough to warrant this huge of a repair. just think of how many people complained to force MS to put out even a half-!@#$% fix. It's about time MS realized just who has the last say. We made them what they are.

jhsparky said,
And what a mess it is, MS has had some big messes in the past but nothing big enough to warrant this huge of a repair. just think of how many people complained to force MS to put out even a half-!@#$% fix. It's about time MS realized just who has the last say. We made them what they are.

Give up the FUD already. The major change with Windows 8 is to the interface, the big changes confined almost entirely to the Start Menu. What goes on under the hood is an improved, more robust, more efficient, faster version of 7.

The mess is in the marketing, the OS is fine.

I gave up on Windows 8 a while back and swapped back to Windows 7. I might plug back in the drive with Windows 8 temporarily just to experience the upgrade process out of curiosity.

Probably same as 8 to 8.1 preview. I had issues upgrading 7 to 8 without using external media (USB or DVD) basically made me run the upgrade procedure twice, so I hope the official upgrade process is smooth this time around.

My system (i5 based on a Sandy Bridge Gigabyte board) didn't seem to like 8, sluggish desktop from boot and gaming performance actually quite a lot worse but I know that's not a typical experience. Windows 8 seems to run much better on my older core duo laptop. Perhaps I was just unlucky with my combination of hardware.

acido00 said,
I remember somebody mentioned it will be free, is that right?

what about hacked copied?

Subtlety doesn't appear to be your forte.

remco8264 said,
Windows 8 users can upgrade for free via the Windows Store. People who are using previous Windows versions will have to pay.

Interesting, because I do have a new laptop HP with Windows 8, so that means I can upgrade it without problems. Thanks

wow, way to force this down our throats....I don't even care about 8.1 due to all the skydrive and privacy nonsense that I have no need for, my windows 8 is running fantastic, mainly due to me using dism on an offline image and removing every single ad infested app. Group policy takes care of the store and restricting ms accounts, just the way I like it

lol... this is how it's always been with service packs. you're over-reacting.

plus 'ad-infested apps'? not many Windows 8 apps have ads in them, and if they do they're very subtitle since it's usually at the very end or blended in the middle of the app. If you use free apps on Android they're front and centre and hog resources.

MrWhistler said,
wow, way to force this down our throats....I don't even care about 8.1 due to all the skydrive and privacy nonsense that I have no need for, my windows 8 is running fantastic, mainly due to me using dism on an offline image and removing every single ad infested app. Group policy takes care of the store and restricting ms accounts, just the way I like it

...
Take a chill pill.

I'm glad microsoft is encouraging users to update to 8.1. I've been on 8.1 for about a week now, and it's the best version of Windows I've ever used.

a7omic said,
I'm glad microsoft is encouraging users to update to 8.1. I've been on 8.1 for about a week now, and it's the best version of Windows I've ever used.

because ______?.

Brony said,

because ______?.

Because it has much improved functionality. A better Start Screen, better multitasking, better support for different resolutions, a unified Control Panel, etc.

You know this.

Dot Matrix said,

Because it has much improved functionality. A better Start Screen, better multitasking, better support for different resolutions, a unified Control Panel, etc.

You know this.

now if they kill the classic Control panel cluster **** of mass

we don't need two control panels

Dot Matrix said,

Because it has much improved functionality. A better Start Screen, better multitasking, better support for different resolutions, a unified Control Panel, etc.

You know this.

For someone like me, that uses a start menu app and ignores the start menu, however, there is nothing. Desktop wise it's exactly the same as 8. Nothing must have for me.

Dot Matrix said,

Because it has much improved functionality. A better Start Screen, better multitasking, better support for different resolutions, a unified Control Panel, etc.

You know this.

Didn't they say this about Windows 8 last year?

Javik said,

For someone like me, that uses a start menu app and ignores the start menu, however, there is nothing. Desktop wise it's exactly the same as 8. Nothing must have for me.

Having the same background on Metro and the desktop is absolutely fantastic. There is one thing zero people have complained about and most have wanted.

The new search? Never, ever used the old one!! Useless, unless you are so stupid you don't know where you installed/stored your own crap!!

Instantly disabled on any version of Windows, on my setups!

Official support for Windows 8.1 will probably end in 2 years also as MS finally realizes how stupid that setup is!!

If nothing else, MS DID create a bunch of work for me by making people want to downgrade back to Windows 7!! Thanks, MS!!

Have probably downgraded as many systems from 8 to 7 as I did for Vista back to XP already!

WTF? It may look different, but search for Windows 8 is much the same as on Windows 7: click start, start typing. 8.1 changes it back to even more like the WIndows 7 unified search-for-everything approach

There has been a hell of a lot of FUD over Windows 8... People hate it largely because it looks different, and the shutdown button moved.

Brony said,

because ______?.


I've experienced the least number of crashes on 8.1 than previous versions in the same amount of time. Also, the start screen is now configurable to be less annoying. Boot time is 2.5 seconds, and I have yet to see any compatibility issues.

RockmanNeo said,
How do you like the new Search?

The new search is good. It'd be nice if it listed more details, but there's always the search bar in the explorer window for that.