Getting one elephant out of the room immediately, no, the Windows 8.1 operating system was never popular. – Released at a somewhat awkward time when Microsoft seemed to believe that the future lay in touchscreen products, while 8/8.1 somewhat worked reasonably well with laptops and tablets, for desktop PCs, it was pretty much universally hated (hence why it later received a more desktop-friendly 8.1 release)!
Just to put the failure of Windows 8.1 into context though, its peak market share was only ever around 15%. – Pretty pathetic if you think that Windows 11, even despite the huge level of unpopularity it has with some people, looks likely to hit and surpass that figure within the next few months.
For better or worse though, on January 10th 2023 Windows 8.1 will officially enter its end of life. – What does this mean? Well, as of January 11th, the only currently supported consumer operating systems from Microsoft will be Windows 10 and Windows 11. And lest we forget that 10 is set to die in 2025!
For those few of you still using 8.1, however, following a report via The Verge, information has appeared online suggesting that your desktop PC or laptop may shortly be set to start giving the somewhat traditional ‘nagware’ that your operating system is shortly set to be cut loose!
Microsoft to Start Nagging Windows 8.1 Users!
As noted above, Windows 8.1 currently has a pretty tiny market share figure (just over 3%). With this in mind, therefore, it’s hardly surprising that Microsoft has, in this instance, chosen to not offer any kind of extended support for the operating system. Put simply, when January 10th hits, no more security updates will be offered and, from that point on, the overall security of Windows 8.1 will get shakier and shakier.
Here’s the problem though. Let’s say you have a Windows 8.1 operating system installed on a device. What do you upgrade it to exactly? I mean, given that 8.1 only really had two years on the market (2013-2015) before being supplanted by the monumentally more successful Windows 10, I think it would be safe to presume that the hardware it has is probably not supported by Windows 11.
Oh sure, Windows 10 is an option. Given that this is also set to die slightly later in 2025, however, presuming you intend to keep the system relevant for another couple of years, the writings on the wall for that one too! Of the few people still using 8.1, I honestly don’t know where they can really go from here. More so, I don’t think Microsoft does either.
Albeit, given that they’d probably like to forget 8.1 ever existed in the first place, this does at least finally put a line on Microsoft’s somewhat awkward (and metaphorical) teenage years.
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!