Windows 8.1 will reach its end of life (EOL) on January 10, 2023, and Microsoft will soon start nagging those using this operating system with notifications about its upcoming "death." Microsoft says (via ZDNet) that users will receive messages similar to those the company used before Windows 7's EOL.
A message about Windows 8.1 soon reaching its end of life will include options to receive notification later, receive it after January 10, 2023, and learn more. The latter will guide the users to a dedicated support article, where Microsoft explains what end of support means and what users can do.
Interestingly, Microsoft says it currently does not offer free upgrade paths from Windows 8.1 to Windows 11 and 10, which means users need to consider buying a license for a newer release. The company also notes that those sticking to Windows 8.1 should consider purchasing a new computer that supports Windows 11 or 10 because those built for Windows 8.1 "are designed with technology that is about 10 years old."
Windows 8.1, released on October 17, 2013, was Microsoft's attempt to fix what it broke with the initial release of Windows 8. It brought back the traditional Start menu button alongside the option to boot directly into the desktop instead of the radically redesigned Start menu. Windows 8.1 also included Internet Explorer 11 (rest in peace), improved integration with OneDrive, and other tweaks.
Fun fact: Windows 8.1 was the only major Windows update Microsoft allowed you to download from the Microsoft Store, similar to how Apple updates macOS.
Windows 8.1 reached the end of mainstream support on January 9, 2018. Unlike its beloved predecessor, Windows 8.1 does not support the extended security updates program that allows companies to pay Microsoft for additional patches after January 10, 2023.