If your computers are still running Windows 8.1, you should know that the operating system (OS) still has 30 days before it reaches its end of support date.
Windows 8.1 was released on October 17 by 2013, as an attempt by Microsoft to address user complaints with Windows 8, such as the missing Start button, a confusing UI, and more. Windows 8.1 did bring new improvements, however, such as a new unified search system based on Bing and deeper integration with SkyDrive (now OneDrive).
Although the operating system was more well-received than Windows 8, it was still criticized for not addressing many of the user's problems. To date, Windows 8.1 has only a 2,54% share of the desktop market worldwide.
Starting January 10, 2023, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, software updates, and technical support for Windows 8.1. If you continue to use your computer after that date, it will still work, but it will be at risk from new security holes discovered after that date. It is now known that many ransomware groups exploit unpatched security holes to infiltrate systems.
You may also experience difficulties using some of your programs after the Windows 8.1 end of support date. For example, Microsoft 365 apps will no longer work on the operating system after January 10, 2023. Microsoft will also block the installation of Microsoft 365 on Windows 8.1 devices. Even Google Chrome will no longer receive updates when Windows 8.1 stops being supported.
Those of you with a Windows 8.1 system should update immediately to the next best option, which currently appears to be Windows 10.