Windows 8.1 will reach its end of life (EOL) on January 10, 2023, and soon Microsoft will start pestering those using the operating system with notifications of its impending “death”. Microsoft says ( via ZDNet ) that users will receive messages similar to those the company used before EOL for Windows 7.
The Windows 8.1 End of Life message will include options to receive a notification later, receive it after January 10, 2023, and learn more. The latter will direct users to a dedicated support article where Microsoft explains what the end of support means and what users can do.
Interestingly, Microsoft says it does not currently offer free ways to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 11 and 10, meaning users need to consider purchasing a license for the newer version. The company also notes that those sticking with Windows 8.1 should consider buying a new Windows 11 or 10 capable PC because PCs built for Windows 8.1 are “designed with technology that’s about 10 years old.”
Windows 8.1, released on October 17, 2013, was Microsoft’s attempt to fix what was broken in the original release of Windows 8. It brought back the traditional Start menu button along with the ability to boot directly to the desktop instead of a radically redesigned Start menu. Windows 8.1 also included Internet Explorer 11 (rest in peace), improved OneDrive integration, and other tweaks.
Fun fact: Windows 8.1 was the only major Windows update Microsoft allowed to be downloaded from the Microsoft Store, similar to how Apple updates macOS.
Mainstream support for Windows 8.1 ended on January 9, 2018. Unlike its beloved predecessor, Windows 8.1 does not support the Extended Security Updates program, which allows companies to pay Microsoft for additional patches after January 10, 2023.