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Microsoft closes Windows 8

Today is the day that Microsoft discontinues all support for the loathed Windows 8 operating system, and stops issuing security patches for Internet Explorer versions 8, 9, and 10. Windows 7 and 8.1, along with IE 11 are safe — for now.

The message is clear: upgrade or risk the possibility of bad people doing bad things. If you think this is moot and that most people have already upgraded, well, think again. According to Statista’s Global market share held by operating systems Desktop PCs, Windows XP still had an 8.44% share as of Dec. 2015, even though support was killed off in April 2014. Even the despised Windows Vista still maintained a 1.78% share. It’s not as strange as you might think. Up until a couple of years ago, I knew of a small business that was still using Windows 2000 on roughly a dozen laptops.

There’s one small twist. Since systems running Vista cannot run IE 10 or 11, they still get support for IE 9. That ends in April 2017 when all support for Vista terminates.

It’s clear that Microsoft wants users to be on Win 10 and the Edge browser. Those monumentally annoying pop-ups admonishing me to “upgrade now” aren’t going away until I do. And I will. Soon. Really.

The rules for deep-pocketed corporations and government agencies are a bit different. Those that are willing to pay for continued support of these older products can get it, for now. No doubt you read in June 2015 that your United States Navy is shelling out $9 million a year to have Microsoft continue support for XP.

If your organization or your clients have applications that require these older versions of Windows and IE, the proverbial window is closing. Here are Microsoft’s official end-of-life dates that you need to keep in mind: Vista, Apr. 11, 2017; Win 7, Jan. 14, 2020; Win 8.1, Jan. 10, 2023; and Win 10, Oct. 14, 2025.

It’s time to start the process for movin’ on up to Windows 10 and Edge.

Are you running into issues with applications that require versions of Windows or IE that are no longer supported? What is your CIO doing about it? Tell us, we’d like to hear from you.