All services, big and small, come to an end someday, and Windows is no different. In fact, Microsoft deliberately cuts updates for their operating systems after a set period of time. With Windows 8 and 8.1 beginning to show their age, can you still use the operating systems? If so, should you?
Let’s explore when Windows 8 and 8.1 will run out of time, and if you should use them after that date.
When Do Windows 8 and 8.1 Lose Support?
If you’re using Windows 8 or 8.1, you’re already passed the mainstream support end date – that happened back on the 10th July 2018. However, this isn’t something to panic about; mainstream support just means the operating system won’t receive any new fancy features.
Windows 8.1 still enjoys security updates, but that will end on the 11th June 2023. As such, unlike Windows 7, you still have plenty of time to use Windows 8.1 before Microsoft pulls the plug on it.
Can You Still Use Windows 8 or 8.1 After Then?
Yes! When 11th June 2023 comes around, all it means is that Microsoft will no longer fix any security flaws that appear. It’s not a self-destruct date for Windows 8 or 8.1; it will still work fine.
Should You Still Use Windows 8 or 8.1 After Then?
The pressing question isn’t so much “if” you can use Windows 8 or 8.1 past that date, as it is “should” you. With no more security updates, continuing to use Windows 8 or 8.1 can be risky.
The biggest problem you’ll find is the development and discovery of security flaws in the operating system. Since Microsoft will no longer patch them, it’s a persistent hole in your system’s defenses.
However, that’s not to say that Windows 8.1 will suddenly fall apart once the deadline comes around. In fact, quite a lot of users are still sticking to Windows 7, and that operating system lost all support back in January 2020.
If you read the comments of the article linked above, you’ll see why people continue to use it. As it turns out, losing support does not immediately mean the operating system is a sitting duck in the cybersecurity world.
By deploying a solid antivirus, maintaining a good firewall, and staying safe while online, you can continue using an old operating system. In fact, these are all points we covered in our guide to securing Windows 7 past its support deadline.
Should You Upgrade to Windows 10 Before 2023?
Should you continue to use Windows 8 or 8.1? For now, if you want to, absolutely; it’s still very much a safe operating system to use.
When 2023 comes around, Microsoft will begin putting the operating system to bed. Here, you have a choice: if the thought of a lack of security updates is enough to give you anxiety, then it’s a good idea to jump to Windows 10. That way, you can continue to receive security updates for your PC.
However, if you want to stand your ground with Windows 8 or 8.1, you’ll find that it’s totally feasible to do so. Not only is Windows 8.1 pretty safe to use as-is, but as people are proving with Windows 7, you can kit out your operating system with cybersecurity tools to keep it safe.
If your main concern is using an old program that may not be compatible with Windows 10, you should know that there is a compatibility mode that allows you to run old Windows programs in Windows 10.
Do you plan on continue using Windows 8 or 8.1 after 2023 arrives? Let us know below.
Image credit: Windows 8.1