WINDOWS 8 users yet to make the jump to Windows 8.1 or, dare we say it, Windows 10 will need to take action today as the earlier version of Microsoft's much criticised operating system is effectively end-of-life from Wednesday.
This is, for once, slightly less melodramatic than it sounds. It's no different to, say, Windows 7 requiring you to have a service pack installed to continue support, it's all about changes in terminology.
However, with 2.76 percent of users still on Windows 8, according to this month's figures from Netmarketshare, that's still potentially hundreds of thousands of computers that will stop getting security updates.
Windows 8.1 fares slightly better with 10.6 percent, but there is every chance that it will be overtaken by Windows 10 this quarter.
Part of the problem with Windows 8.1 was its rather messy rollout. Instead of being released through Windows Update like every other update over the past 20 years, Microsoft decided that it would make people use the new Windows Store. This involved engaging with the tiled 'Metro' or 'Modern' interface that no-one wanted, so a lot of people didn't do it at all or took a long time doing it.
Windows 8 figures have gone into a steeper decline since Windows 10 came out, which is very difficult to avoid, as holdouts sidestep Windows 8.1 altogether. And as the nag screens get more insistent, it's very likely that we'll see a sharp death for Windows 8, down below the nominal levels of Windows Vista, Microsoft's other skeleton in the broom cupboard, which stands on just 1.62 percent and doesn't have a free upgrade-based escape route (unless you count insurance fraud via a staircase and gravity).
The message if you are still on Windows 8 is clear: upgrade to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 today, or you could start to see nasties tomorrow far worse than the prospect of Candy Crush Saga being preloaded.
That said, Windows XP is in the same position and still the world's second most popular operating system. So perhaps it's all hype and smokescreen. Which doesn't sound like Microsoft at all. µ
But it won't be launching until the summer
And they'll be available to pre-order from today
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