Microsoft scraps technical support for some Windows users leaving millions at risk of cyber security issues
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Microsoft has warned users that they could face ongoing issues as the tech firm has scrapped support for some of their older operating systems. The US tech giant confirmed that Windows 8.1 will lose all support from January 10, meaning that devices that use this version of the software will no longer receive updates or have glitches fixed.
Alternatively, Microsoft customers who use Windows 8.1 will need to make a costly decision to splash the cash for a new laptop to continue receiving support. When a Windows operating system, like version 8.1 stops being supported it leaves devices open to a wealth of issues because Microsoft will no longer push out any bug patches or fixes for known security issues.
This could include glitches not being fixed and leaving cyber thieves able to launch attacks without being stopped in their tracks. Microsoft explains on its Windows support pages, "Once a Microsoft operating system (OS) reaches the end of support, customers will no longer receive technical assistance, software updates, or security fixes."
Windows 8.1 users will still be able to use devices, but without continued software updates devices will be at higher risk of viruses, malware and cyber threats. Microsoft is urging users to upgrade to Windows 11 as Windows 10 is also due to be scrapped in 2025.
Microsoft said: "A new device that can run Windows 11 makes for an easy transition and a great experience." However, most older devices can’t run the latest OS as it needs certain system requirements which are usually only found built into the hardware of newer devices.
New Windows 11-powered PCs can be picked up for around £400 at retailers but that’s still an expense that people don’t need amid the Cost of Living crisis. If you use Windows 8.1 and do not want to splash out on a new PC just be aware that, from Tuesday, it could become a bigger target for cyber thieves and any bugs that appear will no longer be fixed.
The latest stats show that around 2.5 per cent of the world’s PCs still have this software installed, which means millions could be at risk.