Ok, so strictly speaking we are talking about Windows 8.1 here (version 8 died in 2016, just 4 years after its “birth”) and it’s not actually dying, but “reaching its end of life” in January 2023. But what does that mean for all those people that are still using Windows 8 on their computers?
- What does “end of life” actually mean?
Microsoft offers free security updates and support for their operating systems, i.e. the most recent Windows Windows 11. This is essential to fix bugs and patch security holes and to keep your computer safe.
However, Microsoft obviously has no interest in keeping those updates going forever for every operating system ever released, especially now that Windows 8.1 has been superseded by Windows 10 and Windows 11, so it’s officially stopping the support and forcing Windows 8.1 into retirement.
- Will my Windows 8.1 computer stop working?
No. Your Windows 8.1 computer will keep working just as before. Well, unless of course you use Onedrive or Outlook with Exchange, or any other software that requires certain up-to-date security standards. If you decide to stick with it, perfectly fine in some cases, just make sure to have a decent Antivirus protection installed to keep you safe.
- Should I upgrade to Windows 11?
Yes, if you can! Your computer is likely to be quite a few years old and not compatible with Windows 11. For a free check, read more on Microsoft’s website here. But don’t worry if your computer is not compatible as it may be compatible with the previous Windows 10 instead – follow this link to check out the minimum requirements.
Please keep in mind that you will need to pay for a new Windows license if you are planning to upgrade and don’t attempt any upgrades without a full system and file backup first. It’s also worth checking that all your peripherals like printers, cameras etc. are compatible with Windows 10 / 11 before you upgrade.
- What’s the alternative?
You could ditch Microsoft altogether and try Linux which runs perfectly on older machines that have a little less power compared to the current computers. Or you may find that this is a good time to upgrade to a new computer that already has Windows 10 or 11 installed on it, saving you the time, hassle and money of upgrading an old machine that is not guaranteed to last much longer.
If the prospect of upgrading to a new computer seems a little daunting, just get in touch and we can do it all for you! And for some great highly recommended new computers and even some refurbished ones, check out to Recommended IT Products.