On January 13th, 2016, Microsoft Microsoft Corporation 72,78 +1,01 +1,41% officially ended support for Windows 8 and you better upgrade to Windows 10 while you still can for free. Okay, you may be asking since Windows 7 came out before Windows 8 and it is supported until January 2020 why would Microsoft end support for Windows 8 now? Well, Microsoft is referring to the original Windows 8.0 (though never branded as such). Okay, so I have Windows 8.1 I am good then? Maybe, maybe not…Microsoft’s FAQ:
“Windows 8.1 falls under the same lifecycle policy as Windows 8, and will reach end of Mainstream Support on January 9, 2018, and end of Extended Support on January 10, 2023. With the General Availability of Windows 8.1, customers on Windows 8 have 2 years, until January 12, 2016, to move to Windows 8.1 in order to remain supported.”
So let’s add to the confusion, Microsoft ended support for Windows 8.1 in May of 2015. But, if you have the Windows 8.1 Update you are good until January 2023. Now, you are wondering what the heck is the Windows 8.1 Update and do I need to go to Windows 10 to continue getting support? To answer the latter, as much as Microsoft would love to have you update to Windows 10, you don’t need to update. Windows 8.1 Update 1, should have been branded as Windows 8.1.1/8.2 or even Windows 8.1 SP1 or Windows 8.0 SP2. This was a major update to Windows 8.1 and the only place Microsoft actually uses this name is in their blog posts.
So do I have Windows 8, 8.1 or 8.1 Update? A quick way to check is to press the Windows Key + Pause/Break to get to the System screen. As you can see below I am running Windows 8.1 on my system, but noticed it is branded as Windows 8. However, to add to the confusion Microsoft has created with Windows 8, it does not say anywhere that I am running Windows 8.1 Update (again this ‘brand’ is only used on their blogs).
The only way to really know if you are running the Windows 8.1 Update is if you are still getting Windows Updates after the May of 2015 deadline. If you are running the original Windows 8.1, then no updates for you. If you are running Windows 8.1 Upgrade then you are getting updates and Microsoft is likely trying to still trick you into installing KB303583 (GWX aka Get Windows 10) update. I just checked my list of updates this morning, and there it was again as an Important update. Once again, I have unchecked this update and (again) hid it.
Bottom line if you are running Windows 8.1 and getting updates, you will still continue to do so until January 2023. This is just another way for Microsoft to scare users to going to Windows 10.
via Forbes > Gordon Kelly