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f you are one of those few still using Windows 8 by chance, you should hit the upgrade button quickly. Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for Windows 8 starting from today, 12th January, 2015. Along with Windows 8 security updates, Microsoft is also bidding farewell to older Internet Explorer versions today.
Microsoft’s operating system support cycle suggests that Microsoft will provide security patches for 10 years after an OS is launched. But in case of a service pack release, the initial OS will receive security updates for two years after the service pack is released.
Microsoft had much expectations from the launch of Windows 8, its touch-optimized operating system. But for many reasons, Windows 8 was not well received by users and enterprises. To cover-up the failure of Windows 8, Microsoft released Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 was aimed at addressing issues users had with Windows 8 and sort of succeeded, although not completely.
Microsoft considers Windows 8.1 as a service pack to Windows 8. Thus, it is now stopping the security updates provided to Windows 8 users. Starting from today, Windows 8 users will no longer receive any new security fixes.
To continue receiving security patches, Windows 8 users must upgrade to either Windows 8.1 or more recent and successful – Windows 10. Upgrade to Windows 10 is currently free for a limited period so you might want to take advantage of that.
If you are not sure which operating system your device is running, you can right-click on My Computer/This PC and select properties to see your current OS version.
According to NetMarketShare, Windows 8 is currently having 3% market share with Windows 8.1 running on about 10% devices. Windows 7 is leading the market with more than 55% share followed by Windows XP, which got its plug pulled by Microsoft in April 2014, still holds 10 percent market share.