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Windows 8 two-year support countdown begins Friday

Windows 8 two-year support countdown begins Friday

Microsoft's Windows 8 begins a two-year countdown to end-of-life on Friday, after which users will need to have upgraded to Windows 8.1 in order to receive updates and patches.

The release of Windows 8.1 on Friday will begin a two-year countdown for stick-in-the-muds looking to hang on to Windows 8, after which they will cease to receive support from Microsoft.

Designed to address criticisms with the company's heavily touch-centric Windows 8 operating system, and heralding a move to more frequent operating system releases styled after Linux and OS X, Windows 8.1 will roll out publicly this week as a free upgrade for all Windows 8 users. Those on the cut-down ARM-compatible Windows RT will also receive Windows RT 8.1, again as a free update.

Some, however, are unlikely to want to install the software straight away. Microsoft has had a rough time lately with updates and patches, having to pull numerous faulty Patch Tuesday releases over the past six months following flaws that, in their worst cases, can prevent systems from booting correctly. As a result, more cautious users - and especially those in enterprise environments - are likely to hold fire on the update and allow others to discover the kinks.

There is a limit to how long delaying the installation of Windows 8.1 will work, though: Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 8.1 will be a mandatory install, with support for Windows 8 coming to a close in two years' time. After October 2015, Microsoft has warned customers, support for Windows 8 - including the release of critical security patches - will cease.

The original Windows 8 support lifecycle saw the software receive updates through to 2023, but under the new terms Microsoft will only support Windows 8.1 to this date - leaving anyone who hasn't upgraded dead in the water.

Thankfully, the status of Windows 8.1 - which is rather more like Windows 8 Service Pack 1 than a fully-fledged new operating system - means that, initial reticence aside, the two-year window should be plenty for even the most cautious of enterprise users to test and install the update.

45 Comments

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Corky42 14th October 2013, 10:49 Quote
Question is, when Windows 9 (rumored for next year) is released will we see that 2023 date curtailed.
GeorgeK 14th October 2013, 10:49 Quote
Is the release date the 18th or the 17th? On some sites (including www.microsoftstore.com) it says the 17th...
Gareth Halfacree 14th October 2013, 11:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK
Is the release date the 18th or the 17th? On some sites (including www.microsoftstore.com) it says the 17th...
17th in the US, 18th internationally.
MadDogg 14th October 2013, 15:18 Quote
Stay with Windows 7. Windows 8 and 8.1 sucks.
ashchap 14th October 2013, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogg
Stay with Windows 7. Windows 8 and 8.1 sucks.

A compelling argument, you've convinced me!
itrush07 14th October 2013, 17:48 Quote
Windows 7 user here... looks like another plus for 7 and not 8..
RichCreedy 14th October 2013, 18:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogg
Stay with Windows 7. Windows 8 and 8.1 sucks.

what you actually mean is, you haven't bothered to learn how to use win 8 /8.1 to find out how good it actually is.
MadDogg 14th October 2013, 19:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogg
Stay with Windows 7. Windows 8 and 8.1 sucks.

what you actually mean is, you haven't bothered to learn how to use win 8 /8.1 to find out how good it actually is.

Actually, I have tried Windows 8, and it really does suck.
Paulg1971 14th October 2013, 20:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogg
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogg
Stay with Windows 7. Windows 8 and 8.1 sucks.

what you actually mean is, you haven't bothered to learn how to use win 8 /8.1 to find out how good it actually is.

Actually, I have tried Windows 8, and it really does suck.

Great argument there. A lot of people will be utterly convinced by it!
RichCreedy 14th October 2013, 20:22 Quote
explain how windows 8 sucks? rather than just say it sucks?
sniperdude 14th October 2013, 20:29 Quote
just looked at 8.1 it sucks.


They bring this out because people wanted the old start menu... but when you click the
programs tab in the 8.1 start menu it just brings you to the crap tiled menu again


totally pointless
Krazeh 14th October 2013, 20:36 Quote
It was never the intention of MS to bring the old start menu back. The Start Button has returned because people apparently found moving the mouse to the corner a bit too complicated without something to aim at.

There's plenty of improvements made in 8.1, but going back in time to get the old start menu back isn't one of them. The start screen is far simpler, and better to look at anyway.
CrapBag 14th October 2013, 20:42 Quote
Is there anyway to download a windows 8 (8.1) Iso just so I can try before I buy? (providing this is legal)

I know windows 7 has iso's you can download from MS and then you have 30 days to activate.

Now I have my test pc up and running I have somewhere I can properly try windows 8 as I don't want to disrupt any of my main pc's.
RichCreedy 14th October 2013, 20:44 Quote
not sure about normal TechNet subscriptions, but partners with a TechNet are supposed to be able to download 8.1RTM
Corky42 14th October 2013, 20:45 Quote
Microsoft found people were not using the start menu, so they removed it and replaced it with a full screen version. :?
RichCreedy 14th October 2013, 20:47 Quote
the full screen version allows for live tiles, a bit like the gadgets on win vista/7
sniperdude 14th October 2013, 20:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
It was never the intention of MS to bring the old start menu back. The Start Button has returned because people apparently found moving the mouse to the corner a bit too complicated without something to aim at.

There's plenty of improvements made in 8.1, but going back in time to get the old start menu back isn't one of them. The start screen is far simpler, and better to look at anyway.

hmmm So you are implying that people who don't like windows 8 menu system are stupid.

I will guarantee you they're not.

Quite a lot of them will be way smarter than you.

And yes it was MS intention to win over people to windows 8 and to stop the 1000s of rants they get daily about the start menu.

do some googling to confirm this.
MrDomRocks 14th October 2013, 20:55 Quote
I have been using Windows 8. For over a week and I can say that I do quite like the new UI, the menu system took some getting used too. But if I cant find it I type it and badabing it's there for me to click on.

I have moved to 8.1 just yet as I quite like 8 as it is. I will be shifting soon as the official release is out though.

And even then I will stick to the Win8 UI as I do quite like it.

Those unwilling to change are most likely just unhappy that the start menu as it is known will be no more.
sniperdude 14th October 2013, 20:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDomRocks
I have been using Windows 8. For over a week and I can say that I do quite like the new UI, the menu system took some getting used too. But if I cant find it I type it and badabing it's there for me to click on.

I have moved to 8.1 just yet as I quite like 8 as it is. I will be shifting soon as the official release is out though.

And even then I will stick to the Win8 UI as I do quite like it.

Those unwilling to change are most likely just unhappy that the start menu as it is known will be no more.

I will bet windows 9 will give you the choice of classic with Aero or the tiled menu.

And rightly so.
Krazeh 14th October 2013, 21:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperdude
I will bet windows 9 will give you the choice of classic with Aero or the tiled menu.

And rightly so.

I bet it won't. And why should it? It's simple enough for people who cope with the transition to install a replacement. MS don't need to, and shouldn't have to, provide a 'classic' start menu.
TheMadDutchDude 14th October 2013, 21:02 Quote
I tried Win 8, hated it and went back to 7. Tried 8 again, still hated it and then moved back to 7, again. Now I am on 8.1 and I am getting used to it, it's so much quicker and it's just like 7 bar the start menu which barely gets used as I sit on the desktop 99% of the time and have my apps pinned to the taskbar and/or on the desktop.
sniperdude 14th October 2013, 21:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
I bet it won't. And why should it? It's simple enough for people who cope with the transition to install a replacement. MS don't need to, and shouldn't have to, provide a 'classic' start menu.

Its simple really

As always it boils down to money.


Microsoft needs as many people as possible using its OS, if people are not using it simply because of the start menus they will change it and this move proves this.

Microsoft already know the start menu is unpopular that's why they have made these changes
but these changes haven't gone far enough.

The start menu looks plain without Aero.
You are still sent to a tiled menu.


If windows 8 had both an option for the tiled menu and the classic menu I would
use it myself, I think you would find the VAST amount of that are sticking with windows 7
would too.
sniperdude 14th October 2013, 21:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadDutchDude
I tried Win 8, hated it and went back to 7. Tried 8 again, still hated it and then moved back to 7, again. Now I am on 8.1 and I am getting used to it, it's so much quicker and it's just like 7 bar the start menu which barely gets used as I sit on the desktop 99% of the time and have my apps pinned to the taskbar and/or on the desktop.

You still hate it MDD you will be back to windows 7 soon, again. LOL
Krazeh 14th October 2013, 21:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperdude
Its simple really

As always it boils down to money.

Microsoft needs as many people as possible using its OS, if people are not using it simply because of the start menus they will change it and this move proves this.

Microsoft already know the start menu is unpopular that's why they have made these changes
but these changes haven't gone far enough.

The start menu looks plain without Aero.
You are still sent to a tiled menu.

If windows 8 had both an option for the tiled menu and the classic menu I would
use it myself, I think you would find the VAST amount of that are sticking with windows 7
would too.

If MS were going to bring back the start menu they would have done it already. They have no intention of doing so. Their vision is for a unified GUI across all products that use windows, whether that's phones, tablets, desktops etc. The Start Menu doesn't fit into that vision, the Start Screen does. The Start button has been put back in to try and smooth the transition but that's it, it's not there to indicate a return of the Start Menu.

Sooner or later people will move to Windows 8, or it's successor. The majority of people will use the Start Screen, realise it's not nearly as bad as they'd read about/feared and quickly get used to using it. The rest will install a start menu replacement and get on with their lives.
Tangster 14th October 2013, 21:36 Quote
I stopped paying attention to the live tile start menu a long time ago. I know the name of every program I install and as such just press win and start typing the name of the program to start it. If the live tile menu had more functionality I might consider using it, but as it is, it's just a pointless shiny.

Windows 8 is a nice step up from windows 7 imo.
TheMadDutchDude 14th October 2013, 22:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperdude
You still hate it MDD you will be back to windows 7 soon, again. LOL

Nah. I'm getting used to it and I actually am liking it. It's not that bad and it was a free upgrade anyway. Can't say no to freebies. :D
Glix 15th October 2013, 00:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
I stopped paying attention to the live tile start menu a long time ago. I know the name of every program I install and as such just press win and start typing the name of the program to start it. If the live tile menu had more functionality I might consider using it, but as it is, it's just a pointless shiny.

Windows 8 is a nice step up from windows 7 imo.

This is how I use windows 8 at work.

And because the main interface is gash, I use 7 at home because the miniscule improvements they made under the hood don't make 8 any fast than 7 on my Haswell so I have no need for 8.
longweight 15th October 2013, 00:32 Quote
Can you hide the start button in 8.1?
Krazeh 15th October 2013, 00:35 Quote
I'm pretty sure you can.
longweight 15th October 2013, 00:35 Quote
I really hope that you can, why do people not understand that there is a start key on the keyboard?
Corky42 15th October 2013, 00:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by longweight
Can you hide the start button in 8.1?

Not without third party software.
RichCreedy 15th October 2013, 01:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Not without third party software.

that will be the next complaint, lol
Corky42 15th October 2013, 07:06 Quote
Windows 12, you can only install Microsoft certified software
dolphie 15th October 2013, 07:48 Quote
Windows 9 next year? I was thinking of getting 8 but I'll stick with 7 for now and wait for 9. Although if 9 is next year maybe I'll wait for 10 the year after. Or maybe just wait for Windows 11, or maybe windows 12 would be best. Windows 13 might not be too good, but I could wait for windows 14, it's probably going to be like Windows 7 but with a few new features. Yeah I'll wait for that.
Corky42 15th October 2013, 08:42 Quote
Well if Microsoft keep up with the new faster release schedule we will be on Windows 12 by the time 7 reaches the end of its extended support and is retired. Well unless they do a XP and extend the extended support for 7, or maybe they will do a 8 and cut it short.
impar 15th October 2013, 10:46 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperdude
The start menu looks plain without Aero.
You are still sent to a tiled menu.
Wait till Microsoft try this:
http://i.imgur.com/XGt8nth.jpg
:)
sniperdude 15th October 2013, 11:09 Quote
Love it Hahahahah.

I will stick with windows 7 for now tho haha

I actually like aero and my normal old fashioned start memu and programs list.
longweight 15th October 2013, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Not without third party software.

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
NortyOne 15th October 2013, 16:32 Quote
I have deployed both windows 7 and windows 8 to 2 different networks. Without doubt windows 8 is a better product, i dislike going back to 7 even.
This is the same story we have every time MS release a new OS, people resist as hard as they can. I am surprised people in the industry resist change so much its quite funny (by all means don't let yourself get screwed, but its a great OS, and if you don't like it, adapt, its your job). People want innovation without change. I get it was a sizable transition for some (windows key...), but non of my peers would go back to previous versions

If you have 8 and they give you 8.1 for free, i don't see any issues, its SP1 by all accounts. That said im hoping i don't need to go back and re-image lol
Corky42 15th October 2013, 18:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NortyOne
This is the same story we have every time MS release a new OS, people resist as hard as they can. I am surprised people in the industry resist change so much its quite funny (by all means don't let yourself get screwed, but its a great OS, and if you don't like it, adapt, its your job). People want innovation without change. I get it was a sizable transition for some (windows key...), but non of my peers would go back to previous versions
Maybe the reason people resist so much is because changes have been made that they don't agree with, in the case of Vista it was changes in the way Windows interacts with hardware.
And the case with 8 is that people are being forced to learn and fit into the OS, not the other way around. If you bought a new suit and it was to small you wouldn't be happy if you had to lose a few pounds just because it doesn't come in a bigger size.

The point is when you expect people to change to fit your product no matter how good it is, the majority are just going to reject it. Products need to fit around us, not the other way around.
Nexxo 15th October 2013, 19:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Maybe the reason people resist so much is because changes have been made that they don't agree with, in the case of Vista it was changes in the way Windows interacts with hardware.
And the case with 8 is that people are being forced to learn and fit into the OS, not the other way around. If you bought a new suit and it was to small you wouldn't be happy if you had to lose a few pounds just because it doesn't come in a bigger size.

The point is when you expect people to change to fit your product no matter how good it is, the majority are just going to reject it. Products need to fit around us, not the other way around.

Note found on someone's desk at work:

http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=2076&pictureid=34861

Are we fitting products around people yet? :p
Corky42 15th October 2013, 19:49 Quote
If that person doesn't know how to start word after 18 years of launching programs in the same manner what makes you think they will know what to do once word starts :)
Nexxo 15th October 2013, 19:55 Quote
She probably types faster than either of us. ;)

On Windows 8 it would have been the first thing she sees on boot: big colourful squares for the whole Office suite. Perhaps Windows 8 is fitting the product around people, just not around us elitist geeky snobs. :p
Corky42 15th October 2013, 20:13 Quote
Wana place bets on how long it would take her to actually see the big colourful squares for the whole Office suite, i bet she would even mouse over it and not know :D
Nexxo 15th October 2013, 20:18 Quote
I think the answer might surprise you. One colleague I know recently bought a Surface, and she's away. She loves it. The Start Screen makes a lot more sense to her, because it is basically like the springboard on a smartphone.

But: thread drift. Back on topic...
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