Microsoft originally launched Windows 8 in October 2012, fully expecting it to be the core OS of the future for desktop users.
Instead, less than four years after the OS launched, Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows 8, also known as “The Second Vista”.
That end of support date was quietly reached on Tuesday, January 12 with little fanfare.
On January 12, 2016, Microsoft released the last security patch for its controversial operating system – which introduced changes like removing the Start button and made it infamously difficult to perform simple tasks like power down your computer.
It’s Only the End of Support for Windows 8
Why haven’t you heard much about this change?
Well, Microsoft only ended support for Windows 8 – not Windows 8.1 If you’re using Windows 8.1, then you’ll receive extended support until January 10, 2023.
Mainstream support for Windows 8.1, however, ends on January 9, 2018.
In other words, if you’re a Windows 8 user, then you should upgrade to either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 to continue receiving any type of tech support.
Upgrade to Windows 10
One of the benefits of upgrading to Windows 8.1 is that you also get the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge with just a few more clicks.
Windows 10 mainstream support is scheduled to last until October 13, 2020, while extended support will last until October 14, 2025.
Windows 8 is Only Used by 2% of PCs Around the World
The good news about all of this is that most Windows 8 users aren’t affected by these changes. Market share research shows that only 2% of PCs around the world are currently running Windows 8 (with a remaining 8 to 10% running Windows 8.1).
Nevertheless, if you’re running Windows 8, the time to upgrade was months ago. If you still haven’t upgraded, then you need to do so now – your security is at risk.