Don’t say they didn’t warn you.
Turn on a PC running Microsoft Windows 8.1 and you’re likely to be greeted with a full-screen message warning that the operating system will no longer be supported after 10 January 2023, and – critically – will no longer be receiving any security updates.
Microsoft sneaked into the latest update rolled out to Windows 8.1 users this week a program (EOSnotify.exe) that displayed the end-of-support notification.
This version of Windows is nearing the end of support.
January 10, 2023 is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates and technical support for PCs that run Windows 8.1. We are reaching out now to thank you for your loyalty and help you prepare for what’s next.
If you click on the “Learn more” button you will be taken to an advice on Microsoft’s website that recommends “moving to a new PC that can run Windows 11.”
Helpfully Microsoft then provides a wizard that can help you choose a new PC.
After the hard sell, however, comes the most important message of all – which is hidden away in the FAQ:
After January 10, 2023, computers running Windows 8.1 will still function, but Microsoft will no longer provide the following:
* Technical support of any issue
* Software updates
* Security updates or fixes
While you could continue to use a PC running Windows 8.1, without continued software and security updates, your PC will be at greater risk for viruses and malware. We recommend upgrading to a version of Windows that is still supported. A new device that can run Windows 11 makes for an easy transition and a great experience.
It’s your choice whether you want to upgrade to a newer version of Windows (or indeed buy a new computer if your existing PC might struggle to run it), and other non-Microsoft operating systems are available of course.
But Microsoft is correct in saying that you will be putting yourself at risk if you continue to run an operating system that is no longer receiving software fixes and security patches.
And don’t forget – you’re not just putting yourself at risk. Running an unsecured PC also puts at risk the data of any other person who communicates with you, or whose information you store on your hard drive, as well as everyone else connected to the internet. A compromised PC can be used by cybercriminals to launch attacks on others – even people you don’t know. Everyone should do their bit to make the internet a safer place for all of us.
The clock is clicking. Don’t say they didn’t warn you.
PS. Support for Windows 10 will end on 14 October 2025.