Windows 8.1 End of Life Policy – FAQ

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    UK Sentinel
    UK Sentinel
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    Windows 8.1 End of Life Policy

    Taken from Microsoft LifeCycle FAQ

    Question:What is the Lifecycle Policy for Windows 8.1?

    Windows 8.1 falls under the same lifecycle policy as Windows 8, and will reach end of Mainstream Support on January 9, 2018, and end of Extended Support on January 10, 2023. With the general availability of Windows 8.1, customers on Windows 8 have two years, until January 12, 2016, to move to Windows 8.1 in order to remain supported.

    Question: Why are you requiring Windows 8 customers move to Windows 8.1 two years after the general availability?

    Historically, we’ve had a similar support approach related to Windows service packs; when a Windows service pack is released, Microsoft provides customers 24 months of support for the prior service pack or original RTM version. Unlike service packs that are typically just a collection of fixes, Windows 8.1 has new features and enhancements. We designed Windows 8.1 to give customers the ability to deploy this update in a manner that resembles how customers deploy service packs. Therefore we are applying the existing service pack policy to Windows 8.1.

    Windows 8.1 does not change any hardware requirements compared with Windows 8 or Windows 7 and existing Windows Store apps will work with Windows 8.1. The update has little to no impact on existing desktop apps and there is no direct software cost because business customers who have Software Assurance licensing will receive Windows 8.1 as a free update. For organizations running legacy applications that must be upgraded, there are tools to manage deployment in order to help mitigate cost and impact.

    Question: What is Windows 8.1 Update? How does it impact the Windows 8 Lifecycle?

    Windows 8.1 Update is a cumulative update for Windows 8.1. In addition to previous Windows 8.1 updates, it includes enhancements such as improved IE 11 compatibility for business applications, usability improvements, extended mobile device management and improved hardware support.

    For more information about Windows 8.1 Update, go to What’s new in Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update. For information about how to deploy, see Windows Springboard Series blog.

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