AS MICROSOFT CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE to get users to upgrade to Windows 8.1, the company announced that it has extended the deadline for Windows 8.1 users to install Windows 8.1 Update 1.
Initially Microsoft said that it would end support for Windows 8.1 after today's Patch Tuesday, however in a blog post, the company announced that there will be a further one month stay of execution until 10 June.
Actually the whole exercise is something of a sham. Unlike the original Windows 8.1, this update is available through the Windows Update engine, rather than the Windows Store, so a user would have to make a special effort not to install the update if they have automatic Windows updates enabled.
Microsoft said users of the original Windows 8 will still be supported, with Windows 8.1 business users also supported into the summer. The purpose of this exercise is really more of an attempt to remind people that the Windows 8.1 Update 1 exists, particularly those who are yet to accept the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8.
The company said the Windows Experience blog, "Having our customers running their devices with the latest updates is super important to us. And we're committed to helping ensure their safety."
This will not, however, solve the problem of the significant number of users who don't read the Windows blog or use the widely maligned tiled interface and have automatic updates switched off. These are the users who are contributing to the 6.36 percent of computer users still using Windows 8, compared with 5.88 percent on Windows 8.1, according to the latest figures from Net Applications.
The big challenge for Microsoft will be to stop preaching to the converted and find a way to get Windows 8 users to upgrade, not to mention the 78.45 percent still using Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, which still has almost half of the PC market. µ