It’s finally here, as of January 10, 2023 Windows 8.1 has officially rolled off into the sunset of unsupported OS versions. In fact, if you are a “normal” user, you can’t even purchase more support if you really want it like you could with Windows 7.
It probably doesn’t really mean much that 8.1 is expiring, even when it existed I never worked in it very much. My first position as a Desktop Engineer we had a fleet of devices that were running Windows 7, and a pilot group that we were testing the Preview Release version of Windows 10 on. We skipped 8.0 and 8.1 completely, except for a very few devices that came with the OS preinstalled. Even the few Surface Pro 3 devices that we got with Windows 8.1 would very quickly be moved to Windows 10 when it was released.
Windows 8.1 is a unique beast, as it shows the lengths that Microsoft will go to appease business users. 8.0 will forever be known as the OS that Microsoft built that was universally rejected because it changed the way we use our computers. It made it harder to do things. Microsoft attempted to rectify that with Windows 8.1, which returned the Start Menu (even though it didn’t necessarily do what we expected it to do) and made the desktop more important again.
However, Windows 8.1 and Server 2012r2 forever changed how many of us in IT use the start menu. Since I used that OS through today, if I know what I am looking for I open the start menu and start typing. Looking for a Command Prompt? Click on Start and type “CMD”. It has streamlined everything I do in Windows.
So goodbye Windows 8.1, I only kept a VM with you installed to test compatibility, but I’ll miss you. You know, just a little bit.