Windows 8 users be warned: There'll be no more security updates from now on

Windows 8

You might be aware that older versions of Internet Explorer will no longer be supported as of today – meaning you should upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, a drum we've been banging for a while now – but Microsoft is also ending updates for Windows 8 as of today.

What now, you say? Shouldn't Windows 8 be kept updated for a long time yet? After all, it only emerged a few years back.

The thing is, as ZDNet reports, Microsoft considers Windows 8.1 as a service pack for Windows 8 – and while it wasn't mandatory to install it, and make the leap to Windows 8.1, it has service pack rules applied. Namely that support lapses after two years for those who haven't installed the service pack – and that two-year period is now up for Windows 8.

The long and short of it is that if you're still on Windows 8, as of today you need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 (or indeed Windows 10) or you'll get no further security updates (or updates full-stop).

Windows 8.1, on the other hand, will be supported until 2023 (or at least that's the deadline for extended support).

If you're still on Windows 8, you really should have upgraded to Windows 8.1 anyway, of course. Indeed, you wouldn't think many people were still languishing on Windows 8, but according to Netmarketshare, as of December 2015, 2.76% of desktop users were running the OS. That's quite a number of PCs…

Those users obviously need to take action pretty sharpish. The same is true for those still running Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10, which as we mentioned has also hit its end-of-life today. Those who haven't upgraded to IE 11 and are running Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 should be seeing a nag screen popping up as of this week.

Via: IGN

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).