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Windows 8.1 has begun warning users of its imminent demise

Windows 8.1
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Windows 8.1 will hit 'End of Support' on January 10, 2023. There's still a bit to go until that fateful day, but Microsoft's least-loved OS has already started getting all melodramatic, announcing its demise to users.

Logging into a PC running Windows 8.1 today will produce a pop-up screen stating it is nearing the end, along with a link to Microsoft's site (opens in new tab), as BleepingComputer (opens in new tab) reports.

Not that there are too many users left, since the most recent Steam Hardware & Software Survey (opens in new tab) pegs just 0.57% of systems with the OS currently installed. Given that Windows 7 is on 3.01% of machines, and support for that OS finished in January of this year, that alone says plenty.

If you are still running Windows 8.1, then maybe you should take a long hard look at yourself. More constructively you should upgrade to a more recent version of Windows. Windows 10 (opens in new tab) is a fine example, and even Windows 11 (opens in new tab) is in a fairly solid place right now, even though we'd be hard stretched to actually think of any reason to pick it over its predecessor. You may struggle to hit the TPM requirements (opens in new tab) without a judicious bit of hacking as well.

On its official page, Microsoft cagily suggests that you might be able to update to a newer version of Windows, but it actually recommends getting a whole new machine, because that's how Microsoft works. Yeah, I'm a bit confused by this thinking too—if they'd rather users just moved over to Linux and stopped annoying them with their old hardware than come out and say it.

Window shopping

Windows 11 Square logo

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 review (opens in new tab): What we think of the new OS
How to install Windows 11 (opens in new tab): Safe and secure install
What you need to know before upgrading (opens in new tab): Things to note before downloading the latest OS
Windows 11 TPM requirements (opens in new tab): Microsoft's strict security policy

You've still got half a year to make the transition, although this being a Microsoft OS it's going to keep nagging you about its demise constantly between now and then. Hitting the 'remind me later' option will postpone the nag screen for another 35 days, but it's only going to get more and more annoying each time. 

In case you plan to keep using your Windows 8.1 machine after January 10, 2023, it's going to make for a much more dangerous experience; the OS won't be getting the necessary patches to protect it from viruses and malware. 

Basically, you really are better off upgrading instead.

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.

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