Microsoft ends support for Windows 8, asks users to upgrade to Windows 8.1 or 10

Microsoft has ceased support for Windows 8, with today's Patch Tuesday delivering the last batch of security fixes for the operating system. Operating systems get a support lifecycle of ten years, but Microsoft has deemed that Windows 8.1 is a service pack to Windows 8. You can defer installation of service packs by two years, but after that, you'll either have to upgrade or run the risk of not receiving updates.

After today, those on Windows 8 will have to upgrade to either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 to continue getting security updates from Microsoft.

Says Microsoft:

Software updates are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they meet the definition of an upgrade, which may require revenue to be deferred and recognized when the upgrade is delivered, or if it is determined that implied post-contract customer support ("PCS") is being provided, revenue from the arrangement is deferred and recognized over the implied PCS term. If updates are determined to not meet the definition of an upgrade, revenue is generally recognized as products are shipped or made available.Unlike service packs that are typically just a collection of fixes, Windows 8.1 has new features and enhancements. We designed Windows 8.1 to give customers an ability to deploy this update in a manner that is similar to how customers deploy service packs, therefore we are applying the existing service pack support policy to Windows 8.1.[For] Windows 8, support ends 24 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product's support lifecycle, whichever comes first. If you are using software without the latest service pack you won't be offered any new security or non-security updates, although preexisting updates will continue to be offered.

The Extended Support cycle for Windows 8.1 lasts until January 10, 2023, with Windows 10 extending that date to October 14, 2025.

If you're running Windows 8, you can make the switch to Windows 8.1 with ease. Make sure you have 4GB of free disk space to install the update, then head to the Windows Store to download the Windows 8.1 update. Once you click on the download button, the update starts downloading and installing automatically in the background, requiring no intervention from your side.

If you're interested in upgrading to Windows 10 after making the switch to 8.1, all you need to do is download the install tool (opens in new tab), select the version of Windows 10 you want to install (32- or 64-bit), and run the installer.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab); Via: ZDNet

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.

  • I find it shocking there are people who never update their computers. Regardless of Win10, how can anyone not have upgraded to 8.1 by now?
  • There are lot of people who don't care about update. One of my friend didn't update Windows 8 to 8.1 saying that Windows 8 works just fine.
  • I can't believe it.... Good job cry babys now I have to use 8.1! I used 8 jest fine!!!
  • Oh did they say 8.1 is SP1 then we need sp2 and sp3
  • There are people who get annoyed by updates :) Bad if you do them, bad if you don`t .... we are 7 billion strange creatures on this planet :)
  • Nice one florin
  • 6999999999. I am perfectly normal.
  • Yeah they do add GBs to the install size of Windows, besides the backups of the update installation files. But now with SSDs being so large for cheap, eh.
  • I was one of those people who never updated their computers. Then I heard of the free windows 10 upgrade and it was simply too good to pass over. I updated my windows 8 computer in june to windows 8.1 and by august 1, I was rockin' windows 10.
  • I live near a Microsoft Store, for at least 6 months after the release of Windows 8.1, they had a stack of people's computers, including my ASUS that could not upgrade to 8.1.... It was never settled for me, so I waited until 10 and did a reinstall of the OS. I'm on 10 now, but there is still something wrong with the video and also wireless. I reinstalled 8.0 and everything is back to working great.
  • You might not have installed drivers for Windows 10... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android because the one on my Lumia 550 sucks! :)
  • I think that you should update your PC's firmware/BIOS first, you can grab it From Asus website
  • There are people in the world who are neither tech savvy nor gamers. They only use computers for their work and care about getting it done... Among them are my parents and my sister... I'm pretty sure that they would have ignored even this message, had they been using windows 8...
  • To the original OP,
    Just last week I was ask to have a look at a a laptop which became "slow". 233 updates later Win8 was up to date and after a 3.95 GB 8.1 was installed and updated.
    Furthermore Malware bytes got 55 PUP's and malwares (hijacked start pages etc)
    The "only" remark I got was " Oh I did not know that the laptop was not updated.
  • Your post is exactly why Microsoft effectively made updates on Windows 10 mandatory as part of the OS. They don't want to keep supporting those out of date machines.
  • Simple, in win 8 worked my graphicsdriver just fine, in 8.1 and in 10 it stopt working. Now ik have to work with a patched driver for my laptop
  • For whatever reason, they either think Windows XP/7 is the holy grail or they are lazy and don't think W8.1 could be that improved over W8.
  • I mean you really can't knock people who are still on Windows 7. People do that for compatibility reasons or there is no real point in upgrading. It's not as if windows 7 is near it's end of life.. It's not as if windows 8 or 8.1 were well received either.
  • Microsoft needs to push the 8.1 Update through Windows Update. Many users never open the Store & I've seen plently of Windows 8.0 to 8.1 Updates fail in the store --- I had to spend a few hours working to troubleshoot 8.0 to 8.1 Updates for a a few family & friends just before Windows 10 was released so they would be able to upgrade (8.1 is required for the upgrade).
  • There are some quirks that make 8.1 unusable like the various problems with that version of ndis for Wi-Fi adapters & wired NICs
  • it is shocking but sad fact.
    1. lots of people do not have stable internet connection for them to get most recent update. either their internet connection are slow, or limited capacity
    2. due to some reason, lots of people choose not enable automatic updates of windows totally., which made them never knew there were updates in the first place.
    3.  8->8.1 normally is a painful process since officially can only be done within Windows store. And to do so, you need Microsoft account, and tone of people don’t have or want to have a Microsoft account. ​4. not everyone is techsavy, so they knew very little about computer or technology in general. I do computer repair and help as a volunteer , i was shocked to see so many people never get any updates of windows. and to do upgrades from *7 or 8 to 8.1 or 10 , you have to install some of the key updates first , then be eligiable for free upgrade. with the slow internet at their house or work place PLUS the internet connection condition, it would take hours to get things done.
  • If WIndows 8.0 is using a volume license, enterprise license, the Windows 8.1 upgrade will not show up in the Windows store.. So I guess i'd have to pirate to 8.1 and then pirate to windows 10 unless it makes it genuine for free.
  • end support for everything but win10...being it free upgrade for win 7 and win 8.1
  • Maybe in the consumer world. In the corporate world things don't move that quickly.
  • True! Many corporations still use W7.
  • In my college , its still Windows XP
  • We got an old version of Linux last year, but finally they bought new PC's with Windows 7 at least.... Hope they will be updated to Windows 10... We're still using Word 2003 though.....
  • That would be a very bad move.
  • Win7 is also used heavily in education worldwide. My college has two IT labs and the computers in both labs run Win7. And the management isn't willing to upgrade. So, I don't see any pros in ending support for Win7. Even if they do, the institutions and firms would still continue using Win7 anyways. No one would readily embrace Win10.
  • To Deepak_HK.
    Windows 7 mainstream support already ended 13/jan/2015 but security updates will be available till 14/jan/2020 so W7 users still have time.
    Extend the support also has no "meaning" for Microsoft it only would cost resources and no benefits.
  • That would be the stupidest thing Microsoft would have ever done.
  • Very bad move by Microsoft. :(  
  • Why? They already stopped supporting W8 weeks after 8.1 released, 4 years ago.
  • 8.1 released two years and three months ago.
  • It's sad that you actually know that ...
  • I don't see the harm or the sadness in knowing an interesting bit of trivia related to the operating system I use every day.  
  • I found out the exact date in just a couple seconds, what's sad about that?
  • I disagree. It's a good move, moving on to bigger and better things.
  • I wonder if people like you who make these ridiculous PR-style statements are looking for a job with Microsoft marketing.....
  • It takes effort (manpower) to support an OS. By dropping that support, it allows MS to allocate more resources to current systems. That is the only way the can remain technologically competitive with Google and Apple. The support period for 8.0 was in line with their standard support period, and the update (really just a service pack) is free to install. Further, it's not like the computer will stop working if not upgrading, just no more forked 8.0 updates. Future updates can be dedicated only to 7, 8.1, and 10. While I can understand some grumbling, because updating takes a few moments of effort to instruct the system to do so, I don't believe a rational case can be made against this move. It's clearly the right thing for Microsift to do and better for the vast majority of Microsoft's customers, all of whom benefit from the reduced non-value-added support burden of the 8.0 OS.
  • I totaly agree wih you. People need to understand that we're living in 2015. The world needs to move forward. And if people can be positve and try things out for a long time before they're judging it, I thnk they will understand more oft the OS.... Mac OSX is the same. Auto updates and taking people forward. I really understand those who got problems with drives and so on, but if you're buying a cheap PC, you're buying a cheap PC. If you're buyin for example a Surface, you got no problems. Same with the Mac, but you ain't got an option. You mut to buy an expensive Mac if you wan a Mac. My meaning is that every single Mac is expensive, maybe someone else means something else, but you can't get a Mac that's as cheap as the cheapest Windows computer.
  • Some lumias also still running 8
  • It's not Windows Phone 8 Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I hope they're still supporting my Windows 95, or I'm hitting that Download Linux button...
  • Support for W95 already ended 15 years ago. So you can hit download linux now.
  • I'm sure he wasn't aware of that. ;)
  • I remember my brother had installed Win97 on our computer. We had lost the XP cd. This was so long ago. I was a small kid.
  • There was no Win97, only Win95 oder Win98.
  • Yeap and Windows 98 SE. I think people get confused with windows 98 and office 97..
  • I remember when I upgraded my system from 98 to 98 SE. If I remember right, that was what added USB support for a bunch of stuff and some pretty cool wallpapers.
  • Perfectly normal and fine by me.
  • They should at least offer it through WU. The store upgrade failing caused many people I know to stop trying to upgrade.
  • The type of people who still use Windows 8 will never notice this anyway.
  • Start button is back in 8.1. So some deference should show up for them.
  • Huh..still using XP SP3 like a with it..
  • Oh god... Wouldn't ever do that on my school PC! I need a system that's as fast as Windows 8, and I have; Windows 10 :) SSD is even better, which I also have; Surface Pro 3 :)
  • I loved 8 at (and during preview), but have no idea why you wouldn't have at least upgraded to 8.1. I prefer 10 now, but running 8 is like people who got Win3 and refused to go to 3.1.
  • 8 was horrible. Never should've been released in the first place. That was probably Microsoft's worst moment in history.
  • I agree. Lowest point for Windows fans ever.
  • i used 8 just fine but was happier with the 8.1 release ... it took 10 minutes to get used to a start screen instead of a menu ... did we ever find out why specifically they were trying to force the 8.1 update back when it was released ??? everything released going forward required 8.1 ... there must have been some big technical reason or flaw in 8.
  • I'm all in on Windows 10, so don't take my comments as bashing at all. But............ I became a heavy tablet-touch screen user immediately after the 8.1 update. In fact, my Lumia 2520 is STILL my favorite lounge\lay device. For using your finger, Windows 8.1 was an amazing leap. (from Windows 7 and it's desktop dominated ancestors) But it turns out, I think, 8.1 was too ahead of its time. In fact, Windows 10 is far closer to Windows 7 than 8.1 is, from the average user's point of view. (Since the average user is still sitting at a desk or using a Microsoft Surface as a "laptop" with its glorious attachable keyboard) Basically, Microsoft found that they had to back up a little to get folks off of Windows XP\Vista\7. Having said ALL that, I never considered that there would be any folks out there running 8.  It seems there are, but that is crazy.
  • i don't know everybody i think this's change of world-os, who use pc works or play games. no, mayby windows10 changing user in the future. maybe not have desktop anymore, have smartphone connect everything, yes! life to change, you wont to play games on console game; not on windows10
  • It seems that MS wants users to use Windows 10 and the associated ecosystem.
    This includes trackers that are much more active than cookies, reporting behavioral data and so on. Windows 10 does some other things too.
    Moreover,  people who are used to a working system running Windows 7 or Windows 8 may not want to change.
    Especially when you use your computer for working. It is not broken, so don't fix it! To avoid upgrading to Windows 10, to avoid being incited to do so, to avoid installing on Windows 7 or 8 the same kinds of trackers that are embedded in Windows 10, users can follow complex and hazardous methods (several of them to get rid of Windows 10 and the trackers), tutorials etc. They also can use our free tool, win10wiwi. A single click and your Windows 7 or Windows 8 system will not upgrade to Windows 10, nor will it ask you to do so. It will also recover up to 6GB. And it will disable the Win10-like trackers that MS introduced lately in Windows 7 and Windows 8.  Cherry on the cake, if you want to upgrade to Windows 10 later on, you just have to run Win10wiwi again and to select the appropriate option. Having the choice is the essence of freedom. Win10wiwi is free for everyone (but you can support us) and is available here:
  • I cannot upgrade from Windows 8.0 to 8.1 because my win8.0 is activated with a volume license or whatever it's called , enterprise license, thanks to me pirating it. But I suspect people who got that type of activation from working at a company will be in the same situation.   If activated this way, the Windows 8.1 will NOT be in the Windows store. So you'd have to download the iso and maybe pirate (activate with a tool) 8.1.