Microsoft is ending support today for Windows 8, the operating system that it released in 2012. That means that most Windows 8 users at home and in businesses will no longer get any updates, including security patches, unless they take the free update to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (or downgrade to Windows 7 if they have a business licence that allows them to do so).
Windows 8 won’t be missed. It was a major break with Microsoft’s past, with a new interface that favoured touch and buried the traditional Windows desktop, and it never took off. As you can see in this chart from from Statista, based on NetMarketShare statistics, its market share peaked at well under 10% in early 2013, then was quickly surpassed by Windows 8.1, an update that reversed some of its UI quirks. And it was quickly surpassed by Windows 10, which was just released last summer and favoured the more traditional desktop look and feel.
Meanwhile, the six-year-old Windows 7 is still the most popular version of Windows by far. Which is why Microsoft has pledged to keep releasing security updates for that OS until 2020.
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