Windows 8 retires next year, for the 3% that still care

Windows 8.1 will stop receiving updates in 2023, and Microsoft says users should upgrade to Windows 11 or any other "supported operating system"

Microsoft tablet with Windows 8 tiles on blue backdrop

Windows 8 is set to retire, as Microsoft says support for the operating system will end next year. While the original version of the software bit the dust back in 2016, Microsoft says gaming PCs and laptops using Windows 8.1 will have to make the jump to a “supported operating system” like Windows 11 to receive security and product updates.

According to Microsoft support, Windows 8.1 will leave the update ecosystem on January 10 2023. The operating system is still alive and kicking, but the company says using it past this date “may cause performance and reliability issues over time.” That’s not to say the OS will hinder your ability to boost fps, but things could get iffy when it comes to security and applications.

As you may have guessed, there aren’t many Windows 8.1 users around, as just over 3% of Windows machines wield the OS. Windows 10 continues to be the top dog, holding on to 71.82% of the market. While you’d perhaps expect Windows 11 to take second place, that accolade actually goes to the now-retired Windows 7, as it’s clutching onto a 13% share.

Windows 11 is gaining ground, but 8.1’s retirement could help it edge closer to the OS throne. The software appears to be more popular on gaming PCs than general machines, which is likely thanks to features like DirectStorage and Auto HDR. Yet, strict TPM requirements are still barring many devices from upgrading, so we might need to wait a little longer for a significant boost in uptake.