TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Recap: Windows 8.1 hit the scene in 2013, roughly a year after the debut of its predecessor, and was meant to address some of the shortcomings of Windows 8. While it was an improvement, it still wasn't all that great and Microsoft was more than happy to start rolling out Windows 10 in the summer of 2015.
Microsoft is reportedly prepping a campaign to inform Windows 8.1 users about the operating system's pending end-of-life status.
Redmond started winding down support for Windows 8.1 on January 9, 2018, when the OS saw mainstream support come to an end. On January 10, 2023, the extended support period will conclude, at which time technical assistance, updates and security patches will no longer be supplied.
According to StatCounter, Windows 8.1 is installed on just 3.06 percent of computers worldwide.
Microsoft concedes that most systems running Windows 8.1 will not meet the hardware requirements to upgrade to Windows 11, but Windows 10 might still be an option for some. That said, Windows 10 is scheduled to reach its end of support date in just over three years on October 14, 2025. All things considered, a new PC running Windows 11 might be the best upgrade path for some.
According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft will start sending notifications about the looming end-of-support date to Windows 8.1 users in July.
Image credit: Tadas Sar