What Do You Need to Do Now That Windows 8.1 Has Been Retired?

What Do You Need to Do Now That Windows 8.1 Has Been Retired?

When Windows 11 became available in 2021, Microsoft also announced that Windows 8.1 wouldn’t be around for much longer. And as of January 10, 2023, Windows 8.1 reached the end of support. 

So, now that Windows 11 has launched and Windows 8.1 has been retired, what does that mean for your computer? Keep reading, and we’ll let you in on the details.

What Happens Now That Windows 8.1 Is Retired?

When Windows 8 premiered back in August of 2012, it was described as something of a “metro.” It was able to be used on touchscreen devices as well as PCs. But even when it came out, many people still opted to use Windows 7. And even now, 11.2% of Microsoft users maintain Windows 7. 

Many people weren’t fully satisfied with Windows 8 when it dropped and were very displeased with its features and unwanted changes. So, Microsoft relented and ended up releasing an update to Windows 8, which came to be known as Windows 8.1. This update came out in 2013 and gave the people what they wanted (including bringing back the Start menu.)

Though many people still used Windows 7 during this time, it’s safe to say that now Windows 7 is almost dead. And Windows 8.1 has seemingly joined. Because now that Windows has officially stopped offering support, there’s little left that Windows 8.1 can offer that Windows 11 or Windows 10 can’t.

Regardless, Windows 8.1 has had a long life. Even Windows 8 was retired way back in 2016. But as of December 2022, 2.6% of users still had Windows 8.1. 

What Does “End Of Support” Mean?

If you still have Windows 8.1 on your computer, don’t worry – your PC will still run. Even though support for Windows 8.1 is over, the software itself will still work. But this “end of support” means you’ll miss out on some of Microsoft’s features.

For starters, there are no longer security updates for computers with Windows 8.1. In addition, Microsoft can’t offer customer support services to Windows 8.1 users. All in all, Microsoft no longer provides these three support services for Windows 8.1:

  • Any security updates or fixes
  • Software updates
  • Technical customer support for issues 

So, if you have Windows 8.1, you can still use your computer. But now that Windows 8.1 is no longer supported, your computer can be at a higher risk of viruses and malware if you continue to use outdated and unsupported software. 

Also, keep in mind there is no Extended Security Update (ESU) for Windows 8.1 as there was for Windows 7 when it was let go.

Why Is It A Good Idea To Use Supported Software?

Our world is increasingly digital. So, it’s a good idea to have adequate protection from the dangerous side of technology and the internet.

That’s why security updates are so critical for modern PCs. Without it, you are vulnerable and susceptible to viruses and malware. So it’s a good idea to stay on top of your software and keep it updated. Especially in a business setting, you could put your company at risk.

What Should I Do Now?

Staying current is always a good idea. Maintaining updated software is essential to smooth operations. Even though you can still use Windows 8.1 if you really want to, you probably shouldn’t.

But you’re not out of luck. There are a few options to ensure your system stays up-to-date. 

  • Install Windows 11 or Windows 10 on your current computer. First, ensure your PC meets the minimum system requirements to run Windows 11. If you have an older PC, it might not. Then, install Windows 11 (or Windows 10 until October 14, 2025).
  • Get a new computer and install Windows 11 or Windows 10. If your computer is somewhat outdated, you’ll probably need a new one that can support Windows 11.  

As of now, opting for Windows 11 or Windows 10 is your best choice. And another significant factor to keep in mind is your PC itself. It might be pretty old if it’s running Windows 8.1 right now. And that means it may not meet the minimum system requirements to run a more updated version of Windows.

Review your needs, and determine if your computer can run Windows 11 or just Windows 10. Let’s go from there.

Next Steps

Because even though you can still technically use Windows 8.1 on your PC doesn’t mean you should. Maintaining modern and current software is the foundation of any business. Without this fundamental aspect, you’re not only falling behind the times but also putting your system at risk.

But it can be hard to know where to start. Need some assistance in upgrading your software or even your hardware? 

Just contact our team here at GKM2 Solutions, and we’ll take care of it all for you!