By Alexandra Burlacu | Oct 21, 2013 10:03 AM EDT
Windows 8 users will have two years to upgrade to Windows 8.1 if they want to remain supported under the Windows 8 lifecycle, Microsoft has announced.
The company has just released its brand new Windows 8.1, which should address many of the issues the previous Windows 8 brought along.
In a new post on its Support website, Microsoft explains that Windows 8.1 falls under the lifecycle policy of Windows 8, which ends on January 10, 2023. At the same time, however, the company also notes that Windows 8 customers will have only two years to move to the newer Windows 8.1.
"Windows 8.1 builds on the foundation of Windows 8, and includes many enhancements and great new features in key areas like personalization, search, the built-in apps, Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity. Windows 8.1 also introduces new manageability, mobility, security, user experience and networking capabilities for businesses," notes Microsoft.
"The lifecycle of Windows 8.1 will remain under the same lifecycle policy as Windows 8 with support ending 1/10/2013. Windows 8 customers will have two years to move to Windows 8.1 after the General Availability of the Windows 8.1 update to continue to remain supported under the Windows 8 lifecycle. With the availability of Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview, it is time to start planning your deployment, and there are deployment tools and guidance available to help make these updates seamless for customers."
With this limited two-year support, Microsoft is basically forcing updates on users who typically take a long time before upgrading to the newest version. In two years, users who still have not upgraded will no longer receive critical security patches, nor new features and improvements. Moreover, they could also be locked out of third-party updates.
At the same time, Microsoft is not done yet with its effort to get customers off the older Windows XP and Office 2003, which will no longer receive support after Apr. 8, 2014.
The two-year countdown on Windows 8 upgrades has already started this past Friday, Oct. 18, when Windows 8.1 went public. If you don't want to be left behind, Microsoft urges you to upgrade to the newer OS version in a timely manner.
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