The latest operating system to lose all support is Windows 8.1.
The OS was released in 2013 and was officially retired on January 10, 2023.
Microsoft issued the following warning for companies:
“Continuing to use Windows 8.1 after January 10, 2023, may increase an organization’s exposure to security risks or impact its ability to meet compliance obligations.”
Here are a few facts you should know:
What Happens If I Don’t Upgrade?
- Security & Compliance Issues
- Slowed Productivity
- Incompatibility With Newer Tools
As a business owner in Bolton and Manchester, you need to be aware that Microsoft is no longer supporting older operating systems. Without up-to-date security patches, your computers are vulnerable to cyberattacks. To protect your business, you need to make sure you’re running the most recent version of your operating system and regularly update your software. It maybe that you have some bespoke software that only runs on the old operating system. Well, it’s time to do something about it because this could cost you dearly. Investing in security tools can also help to protect your systems from potential cyberattacks. Don't wait - act now to ensure your business is protected against cyber threats.
The latest operating system to lose all support is Windows 8.1. Microsoft released the OS in 2013, and it was officially retired on January 10, 2023. Microsoft issued the following warning for companies:
“Continuing to use Windows 8.1 after January 10, 2023, may increase an organisation’s exposure to security risks or impact its ability to meet compliance obligations.”
Here are a few facts you should know about what this retirement of Windows 8.1 means.
The OS Will Still Technically Work
When an operating system reaches its end of life, it won’t just stop working. Thus, many companies go on using it without realizing it’s a security risk. Technically, the operating system will still work, but it won't be as secure as it was the day before retirement.
Your System Will No Longer Receive Security Patches
Software and OS vulnerabilities are sought out and exploited all the time. This is what hackers do for a living. Hackers often find weak points in software, which they can take advantage of to gain access to a computer system. They write code to exploit these weaknesses, which can give them control of the system.
When hackers start breaking into computer systems, the software developers find out. They write code to patch up any weak points in the software, and then send this to users in the form of an update. Installing the update will help to protect your device from any hacker attacks.
Once an operating system reaches its end of life, the software developer stops making updates. They focus their attention on newer products, leaving any weak points in the software vulnerable to attack. This means that your device can be hacked into even after the OS has reached its end of life, and the vulnerability could remain for days, months, or even years.
Analysis by cybersecurity researchers at F-Secure show that 61% of security vulnerabilities in corporate networks are from 2016 or even older. Some of the vulnerabilities that continue exploiting networks are over 10 years. These are known to the cybercriminals and allow networks to be easily breached.
Options for Upgrading
If you have a computer that is still running Windows 8.1, you have two options for upgrading. You can opt for Windows 10 or Windows 11. If the computer is running such an old OS, there is a chance your system may not meet the requirements for one or both. In this case, you may need to buy a new device altogether.
Microsoft states that there is no free option to upgrade from 8.1 to Windows 10 or 11. Some of the advantages you gain when upgrading include:
- Better built-in security
- Faster processing
- Capability for more modern features (like facial recognition)
- Improved accessibility features
- Updated productivity tools (like snap layouts in Windows 11)
What Happens If I Don’t Upgrade?
Security & Compliance Issues
For your businesses, it is essential to stay on top of data security. If you're still using Windows 8.1, your data is at risk. Without any security updates, any potential vulnerabilities won't be patched, leaving your system open to a breach. Furthermore, if one system on a network is hacked, the breach or malware infection can spread to other, newer devices. If you need to comply with data privacy regulations, like GDPR, you may run into issues. These rules demand that reasonable efforts are made to protect data. Using an out-of-date operating system can put you at risk of not meeting these compliance standards.
The older systems get, the slower they get. Staff who must work on outdated software complain that it hurts productivity. A survey found 77% of employees were found to be frustrated with outdated tech. Employees working on outdated systems may also quit. Unisys corporation carried out a study and found 450% more people are likely to want to leave and work elsewhere.
Using an outdated operating system can stop your staff from taking advantage of modern time-saving features.
Incompatibility With Newer Tools
Software and hardware developers aren’t looking back. When Microsoft discontinues an operating system, they don't focus on its compatibility. In fact, some may not want their product to be compatible with it because of the liability.
When you have issues using modern software and hardware it hurts your business. You become less competitive and begin to fall behind. Staying on an outdated operating system keeps you stuck in the past.
Get Help With Your Windows Upgrades
If you're based in Bolton or Manchester and need to upgrade your older Windows operating system, Great IT Services can help. We can provide guidance on the best value option for a new system and ensure a smooth transition.
Don’t allow your business security to be vulnerable, from cybercriminals who are to happy to cause havoc. Get in touch today to discuss your upgrade and security options
Great IT Services Bolton and Manchester Tel 01204216040 or 07810025154