This week Microsoft ended support for Windows 8 and for old versions of Internet Explorer, including IE 8, 9 & 10.
What does this mean for users?
If you have Windows 8 or an older version of IE, it will continue to work, but Microsoft will not issue bug fixes or security patches. This means that your system will be less secure and more prone to malware. The longer you stay with the old operating system, the less secure your computer will be.
End of support came more quickly for Windows 8 than for some of Microsoft’s earlier operating systems. Windows 8 came out in October of 2012 – so its lifetime was only three years. By contrast, Microsoft supported Windows 98 for 12 years.
Why, Microsoft, why?
This early retirement of Windows 8 is most likely part of Microsoft’s drive to get everyone to use the new Windows 10 operating system and its accompanying web browser, Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Edge offers a range of new features including the virtual assistant Cortana and the ability to annotate web pages as your read.
Microsoft is offering free downloads of Windows 10 to anyone running Windows 7 or 8 until July of 2016.
What about Windows 8.1?
Only Windows 8 is facing the end of its life. Windows 8.1 is schedule to receive support until Jan 2023. Also users running Internet Explorer 11 are still covered as long as they are running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.