JMH3143· Microsoft MVP, Microsoft Support Visiting Expert,
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Microsoft Will Abandon Windows 8 Completely Next WeekWindows 8 was launched in October 2012 with much fanfare, but in the end, this proved to be just another flop in Microsoft's history. Often referred to as “the second Vista,” Windows 8 will reach end of support next week on Tuesday, so all users who are still running it must upgrade to 8.1 as soon as possible.
Although it sounds weird to see a Windows version discontinued after only three years, it actually makes sense because Microsoft considers Windows 8.1 a service pack. So it applies the same strategy as in the case of Windows 7, which got its very own service pack too.
Windows 8.1 is offered free of charge to everyone on Windows 8, so the upgrade can be performed at any time by simply downloading the files from Microsoft's servers. If you do that, support is automatically guaranteed until January 10, 2023, the date when Microsoft end extended support (mainstream support ends on January 9, 2018).