Microsoft ends support for Windows 8.1, shutdown free upgrade to Windows 10

Microsoft has shutdown its free upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, and officially ended support for the OS, leaving its users as essentially running a dead operating system.

While Windows 8.1 will remain same for users, no new features or bug fixes will be made available by Microsoft henceforth. Albeit, Microsoft has provided an “extended support,” which will provide security updates until 2023.

The company had availed its users a free one-year window to upgrade to Windows 10, which till date only 7 percent of users have evaded the upgrade, against the July, 2016 deadline.

Microsoft also opened what it calls the “assistive technology” loophole: for users who use assistive technologies, such as screen readers or a Braille keyboard, to have extra time to upgrade.

The “assistive technology” loophole upgrade path to Windows 10 closed January 16, however given that the company had earlire extended it from Dec. 31, no one actually knows if its now the final cutoff for the assistive upgrade.

Microsoft still wants users to upgrade to Windows 10 and perhaps will use the loophole as an ostensible extension as back door of sorts to allow upgrades.

Even as Microsoft warns that users running Windows 8.1 will see a higher degradation of performance from the Meltdown and Spectre patches than those on Windows 10 machines. While Windows 8.1 will continue to receive security fixes for another five years, the OS certainly lacks the robustness or security of Windows 10.
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