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.