PSA: Windows 8 No Longer Officially Supported

Upgrade to Windows 8.1 or 10 or face potential security risks, Microsoft says.

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As of January 12, Microsoft's controversial operating system, Windows 8, is no longer officially supported. As such, Microsoft is advising people still running it to upgrade to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 or run the risk of exposing their computers to potential security risks and threats.

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The end-of-support notice comes just three years after the OS was released in October 2012.

Historically, Microsoft's support cycle for new operating system's spans 10 years, but a different arrangement is in place for Windows 8. As outlined on Microsoft's support website, the company is treating Windows 8.1 as a service pack for Windows 8.

Per Microsoft's rules, you have two years to install a service pack after its release. Given that Windows 8.1 was released widely in October 2013, the time has come to move forward or be left behind.

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"Unlike service packs that are typically just a collection of fixes, Windows 8.1 has new features and enhancements," Microsoft said. "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."

As GameSpot sister site ZDNet explains, Windows 8.1 will be supported by Microsoft through January 2023, while Windows 10's support lifecycle runs through October 2025.

Windows 8 was controversial in that it introduced a touch-focused tile design that was dramatically different to Windows 7. Microsoft addressed these criticisms with frequent--and substantial updates--including Windows 8.1.

Instructions for how to upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 are available here, while a tutorial for getting Windows 10 up and running can be seen here.

In other Windows news, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 has now reached 200 million installs across PC, Xbox One, and smartphones. Microsoft's goal is to hit 1 billion by 2018.

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