A little more than three years after the release of the system, Microsoft decided to end the support of Windows 8. The company delivered the last pack of security updates for Windows 8 as a part of Patch Tuesday, and encouraged users to upgrade to the newer version of Windows (8.1 or 10).
The usual lifecycle of a Windows operating system is 10 years from the date it was launched. But since Windows 8 has been upgraded to with Windows 8.1, the company now considers Windows 8.1 as the main operating system, as it’s being treated as a Service Pack instead of a new OS.
So Microsoft will end the support of Windows 8, but it will still support older versions of Windows, like Windows Vista (until April 11, 2017) and Windows 7 (January 4, 2020).
“Unlike service packs that are typically just a collection of fixes, Windows 8.1 has new features and enhancements. We designed Windows 8.1 to give customers an ability to deploy this update in a manner that is similar to how customers deploy service packs, therefore we are applying the existing service pack support policy to Windows 8.1.
[For] Windows 8, support ends 24 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product’s support lifecycle, whichever comes first. If you are using software without the latest service pack you won’t be offered any new security or non-security updates, although preexisting updates will continue to be offered.”
Microsoft encourages users to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, because if they stick with Windows 8, their system will be vulnerable to attacks, due to the lack of security updates. The upgrade to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 is free (if you have a genuine version of Windows, of course), so the end of support shouldn’t be a problem, unless you’re emotionally attached to Windows 8.
Windows 8 isn’t the only Microsoft’s product that faced the end of support today, as Microsoft also ended the support of all older versions of Internet Explorer, as well.