Another nail in Windows 8's coffin

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 21, 2018
Windows, Windows 8

Microsoft published a roadmap yesterday for Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.x that highlights the end of support dates for app submissions to Windows Store and the distribution of app updates to devices running Windows Phone 8.x or Windows 8.x.

The next five years will be quite interesting from a Windows user perspective. Support for Windows 7 ends in 2020 and support for Windows 8.1 ends in 2023. That leaves Windows 10 as the only version of Windows that users can switch to. Will they do so, or select a different operating system instead?

Microsoft has done its fair share of work to convince users to upgrade to Windows 10. Even if you ignore the rather problematic Get Windows 10 campaign which was borderline malware at times in my opinion, you will notice attempts here and there that had the main purpose of getting users of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 systems to upgrade to Windows 10.

Want some examples? Limiting new processor support to Windows 10, making Microsoft Edge Windows 10 exclusive only to release it later on for Android and iOS as well, or pulling support agents from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 support forums.

Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on, and mainstream support for Windows 8.1 ended this year on January 9, 2018. Both operating systems are in the extended support phase which means that Microsoft will release security updates for the operating systems but won't push updates with new features anymore.

Windows 8.x and apps

windows 8 end apps

The roadmap for the end of application submissions and updates for Windows 8.x was published yesterday by Microsoft:

  • October 31, 2018 --  New app submissions will not be accepted anymore for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone 8.x or earlier.
  • July 1, 2019 -- Microsoft stops the distribution of application updates to Windows Phone 8.x and earlier devices.
  • July 1, 2023 -- Microsoft stops the distribution of app updates to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 devices.

What does it mean? There won't be any new apps for Windows 8.x on the official store starting October 31, 2018. The change won't affect existing applications which developers may still update.

Microsoft stops distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x and earlier devices on July 1, 2019; in other words, if a developer pushes updates for apps that include support support for Windows Phone 8.x, those updates won't make it on Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices from that day forward.

On July 1, 2023, the same will happen to devices running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

Some thoughts on that

To highlight what is happening, one has to look at Windows 7 for a moment. Windows 7 did not include an application system or a Store that users could download apps from. When Windows 7 exits the extended support phase, users will still be able to download software, install updates, and install programs on the system provided that individual developers continue to support the operating system and don't implement any barriers that prevents usage on the system.

With Windows 8, things changed. While desktop programs behave the same on Windows 8.x as they do on Windows 7 devices, it is an entirely different situation for apps.

Windows 8.x users won't be able to get new apps for their devices starting four and a half year before extended support runs out. Half a year after extended support runs out, it will be impossible to update existing apps even if the developer ensured that the updates are compatible with Windows 8 systems.

Microsoft made no mention if installed apps will stop working at one point in time or another; since the company did not mention that, I assume that this won't be the case.

Now You: What is your take on this development?

Another nail in Windows 8's coffin
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Another nail in Windows 8's coffin
Microsoft published a roadmap yesterday for Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.x that highlights the end of support dates for app submissions and updates.
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  1. grego said on April 24, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    I know some folks who still love Windows 8. They are among the dumbest folks I know.

  2. Rush said on August 23, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Well, most users that access this site, have been well informed, courtesy of Martin B, as to which winUpdates contain win10 telemetry designed for win7, 8.1. Sorry,but I’ve not time to research and post links.

  3. stefann said on August 23, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Just because a manufacturer ends its support for a product it doesn’t mean the consumers have to stop use it.

    ( By the way, who ever care about crappy apps on a desktop ? )

  4. wybo said on August 22, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Still using 8.1 with no problems whats so ever. Do not use any MS apps and never been to their store.
    From a privacy point of view 8.1 is also better than 10. Anyway I only have been installing security patches in the last 2 years.

    1. John Fenderson said on August 22, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      @wybo: “From a privacy point of view 8.1 is also better than 10”

      In what way? The Win 10 telemetry was backported to Win 8 (and Win 7), so unless you skipped those updates, I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference, privacy-wise.

  5. Weilan said on August 22, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Micorosft are so stupid. Why would they want a chunk of the smartphone market if they treat their devices and their customers like this? WP 7 can’t be updated to WP 8, you have to buy a new phone, WP 8 can’t be updated to WP 10, except for a few devices and you have to buy a new phone. Those guys are idiots. Android and iPhone get a lot more support, you can have an old Android phone with Android 4 or 5 and it will still work fine and you can get apps from the app store. I have a 2016 Huawei Y3II and it has Android 5, which will probably never be updated and I don’t care because by the time the phone stops working, I will have to replace it with a new one.

  6. Cor said on August 22, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Pretty sure phone activation will soon be terminated and any leftover licenses will be blocked as pirated.

  7. ha said on August 22, 2018 at 5:50 am

    I am on w8.1 but I never touch the metro store apps. w8.1 is still a nice and stable system.

    1. Windows 10 "Will be the last Windows" they said said on February 18, 2022 at 8:52 pm

      8.1 for the stability win. Why would I upgrade from it unless there was something I really wanted or needed from 10 which has never been the case and hopefully won’t ever be.

      Unsecure or not post end of support I’m not upgrading several machines of mine until there’s a dire real security threat remaining unpatched and likely to bite me.

    2. TelV said on August 22, 2018 at 11:26 am

      Agree with you wholeheartedly! I stuck with 8.1 initially because I didn’t want to go back to the ugly Windows 7 start menu again (I like the tiles), but then the furore surrounding privacy issues erupted and that dissuaded me from ever considering Windows 10 again.

      I’ll switch to one of the Linux distros once support ends in 2023, but for now I’ll happily chug along with Windows 8.1

      1. John Fenderson said on August 22, 2018 at 11:24 pm

        @TelIV: “(I like the tiles)”

        Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that before!

      2. TelV said on August 23, 2018 at 2:03 pm

        Yeah, I think they’re a great idea! I didn’t like them so much when they first appeared in Windows 8 since they were all the same color, but 8.1 created different colors making a given application easy to spot especially since they can be organized according to type.

        I also like the ability to perform a search by simply typing on that screen. What users type isn’t actually visible, but the action quickly shows a list of files which match that criteria.

        I think it’s a great shame that there wasn’t much enthusiasm for the new concept which lead to Windows 10 adopting a combined tiles and Windows 7 type start menu which is downright ugly IMHO.

      3. John Fenderson said on August 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm


        Fair enough. I detest those tiles, personally, and so I use a replacement for the start menu in order to get rid of them (and to bring back the Win 7 style). I think they’re really ugly (particularly when multiple colors are used), and they make it hard to find what I want. But that’s just me.

        BTW, You’ve been able to search by typing when the start menu is open since Windows 7.

      4. TelV said on August 25, 2018 at 2:55 pm

        @ John Fenderson,

        I never used Windows 7 or Vista come to that and went straight from Win XP to Windows 8.

        But I always thought you had to use the search field at the bottom of the Windows 7 start menu go perform a search for something and didn’t realize that field wasn’t actually necessary.

      5. Darren said on August 24, 2018 at 6:25 am

        Yea the tiles are nice. I also have StartisBack installed so I use the classic start menu and tiles both. Most used programs are on a tile. Click and bam it’s launched. All Adobe apps together, DB stuff, Office, etc.

        Thing about 8.1 is if you really want it to look like Win7 you easily can. The updated guts are a big bonus.

    3. klaas said on August 22, 2018 at 7:13 am

      @ha: agreed, but not many people see it that way.

  8. AmberLight said on August 22, 2018 at 1:17 am

    When “senior citizen” is mentioned, I realize that many, many Windows users are elderly and much prefer Windows 7.

  9. Anonymous said on August 22, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Windows 8.1 was ok after I tweaked it beyond recognition, it even had a few improvement over 7 (file transfer and search options) but I’ve never used the “Modern” apps. They were just uglier, dumbed-down versions of desktop programs.

    I don’t think that many people will miss them or Windows 8, to be honest, but yes, it seems like Microsoft is desperately trying to force XP, 7 and 8 users to switch to 10 any way they can… except by offering a better product with more user control, of course.

    I’m trying Linux (Mint) these days. It’s definitely not as user friendly as some fans claim and it’s still lacking in software support but still looks like a much better option than Windows 10.

    1. klaas said on August 22, 2018 at 7:12 am

      @Anonymous: I have been dithering about Linux, 1 reason being, as you point out, software support, though the real aficionados disagree with that. I have it mounted as a guest on a VM on my Win PC. I also worry about not finding the equivalent of a number of my important apps, not including the Office suite for which there is LibreOffice, but other ones.

      1. John Fenderson said on August 22, 2018 at 11:22 pm

        @klass: “I also worry about not finding the equivalent of a number of my important apps”

        There really are very few Windows programs that don’t have a Linux equivalent, but it might be worth spending an afternoon with your favorite search engine to nail that down. Searching for “linux alternatives to windows applications” will get you to several lists of common equivalents, too.

        What do you mean by “software support”? If you mean “is software available to do what I want”, then I’ve already commented on that. If you mean “can I get help if I have a problem”, I can only tell you my experience as someone who works in both the Linux and Windows world — the support available for Linux programs is actually superior to that available for Windows programs on the whole (there are exceptions, of course). What differs is who is helping you out — in Linux, it’s probably other users, and that’s a good thing.

      2. klaas said on August 23, 2018 at 5:24 am

        @John Fenderson: thanks for your feedback John. I will have look again at possible LInux equivalents/altternatives for the programs I use. That is what I meant by support; I know support from people on the forums is generally very good, whereas MS support is crap with useless answers.
        Anyhow, thanks again for your comment :-)

  10. ULBoom said on August 22, 2018 at 12:16 am

    People stayed with Win 8? It was spectacularly awful, I thought 8.1 was the only 8 version still in existence. Not sure I’ve encountered any angst about any 8’s demise or even any fans of 8; 7 still has a lot of interest.

    Ten’s a decent OS buried under a pile of manure. Every update reburies you.

    1. Darren said on August 22, 2018 at 5:15 am

      A slightly modified for usability Win8.1 is by far better than 7 or 10. Especially 10. Let’s not forget that security support for Win7 is abandoned.

      1. Yuliya said on August 22, 2018 at 10:50 am

        Uhm no, Windows 7 gets security updates on a monthly basis and is as secure as Windows 10. I don’t know where you got this silly idea from. Currently Windows 7 is suppored until October 2021.

      2. Jody Thornton said on August 22, 2018 at 3:08 pm

        @Yuliya, it’s over for Windows 7 as of January 2020. However the Windows 8x kernel is a fair bit more stable than 7. Hide mtro and all the apps with Classic Shell, and you’re golden.

      3. Yuliya said on August 22, 2018 at 9:01 pm

        Windows 7 will be supported until October 2021 due to thin client having support up to that date.
        Idk about stability, I had blue screens on 8 due to programs not liking Aero, and all sorts of bugs including being logged out of my (local) account for no humanly explainable reason making me lose everything I had open, practically killing all processes running under my user. On the other hand my Windows 7 PC has seen 40+ days of continuous uptime with no problems at all, holding a couple of VMs, three browsers with hundreds of tabs and a game like Sims 4 open in RAM like it’s nothing.

      4. klaas said on August 22, 2018 at 7:08 am

        @Darren: I agree about Win 8.1, I have not had any problems with it. I had Vista, and never had any problems with it. That said, MS’s behaviour has been increasingy appaling of course.

    2. Jody Thornton said on August 22, 2018 at 3:27 am


      Still kills me when I see more Windows “H-8”. The truth is Windows 8 can still utilize Windows Server 2012 updates, has no CPU blocking, and actually runs MORE stable than Windows 7. But that’s OK, I’ll enjoy the fruits of something that few know about.

      1. Kevin said on August 22, 2018 at 4:14 pm

        I thought that Windows 8 is abandoned, and you must install 8.1 in order to continue getting critical updates.

      2. Jody Thornton said on August 22, 2018 at 5:39 pm


        It is – However after January 2016, you can install Windows Server 2012 patches and stay up to date. They’re even named Windows8RT.KBxxxxxx.msu. So they’re codebase identical.

  11. Darren said on August 22, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Don’t and won’t ever use the Microsoft store. Want to stay out of their walled garden as much as possible. Can see the reasons they’d do this, but you’d think they’d want all their OS users being able to purchase from their lame store.

    1. John said on August 22, 2018 at 3:15 am

      Yeah their logic is so backwards and messed up that I don’t get it either. If you’re running an unactivated copy of Windows, they reportedly won’t let you use the store. “You didn’t give me money, so I’m not going to let you give me money!”

      You would think they would *want* people to use the store, be they on activated Windows or not. And at the same time, many of us users don’t want anything to do with the store!

      1. John said on August 22, 2018 at 6:20 pm

        Oh, another @John! :O

  12. Finished said on August 21, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    My take on this development ?

    I don’t care anymore about the decisions from M$. I had enough time to make up my mind and I am switching slowly but steadily to Apple. I bought an Macbook Air as the first step. Yes, M$ forced me to do this but on the other hand they have lost an entire family of Windows users for good. Not buying M$ products anymore is the only answer they understand. After a while we will get used to our Apple stuff (it is new to us so there is a learning curve) and hopefully won’t look back.

    1. dark said on August 22, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      Apple exists because M$ funded it, to avoid monopoly issues. You should switch to Linux. Manjaro or Mint.

      1. Finished said on August 22, 2018 at 7:52 pm

        Please give me some proof supporting your statement about Apple. Moving to Linux would have been a possibility if there weren’t big issues with our printers and some programs I need. So yes, but in the end no. Linux is not a panacea for everything.

      2. Heimen Stoffels said on August 24, 2018 at 8:23 pm

        Printer issues with Linux? What is this, 2005? I haven’t heard of any big issues with printers on Linux for, like, 5 years or so now and I am a Linux user since 2008, so I’m well-aware of anything that goes on in the community and printer issues are no more because of better support. Sure, some small issues remain, but “big” issues? Nope.

  13. Rush said on August 21, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Why would Windows implement nefarious means to throw cold water on their users [ahem] client’s
    consumers, patrons, purchaser, clientele, prospects, habitué… ?


    Win10 Eco-system has spreads like an inflamed virus, seeking to devour users of Win7 and 8.1 then regurgitate their entrails to Windows 10…so M$ can say…..Gotcha!

    Microsoft…for the win?

    Nope, that would be Linux.

  14. Suvam4549 said on August 21, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Doesn’t matter…

  15. klaas said on August 21, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Apps? Windows Store? Never used them, always use 3rd party software for my Win 8.1 machine. Somewhere along the line my Windows Update system got broken, so I now WSUS Off line, i.e. 3rd party, for that as well.

    I have not yet figured out what to get when my PC needs replacing: Linux? Hmm, can’t get enthused about that. Apple? Overpriced, mostly because of the prestige which I don’t need.

  16. Kevin said on August 21, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    By far, my favorite part about the Windows 10 campaign was when Microsoft artificially limited new CPU support on Windows 7 and 8.1 (even though the new CPUs already had drivers and were working just fine), but accidentally sabotaged updates on some machines with old processors in the process!

    Freaking hilarious! It is also worth noting that Windows 8.1 was still in mainstream support when Microsoft did this. And, as someone who was affected by the Ryzen block, I’ve decided to never support Microsoft again or people who use Windows. That was the last straw, and my days of diagnosing and fixing Windows computers for free are officially over.

    If Microsoft thinks it is okay to treat me with the above contempt after I paid for Windows 7, I now treat them with identical contempt, by driving as many people away from their platform as I can. Those of us who are called upon as the “free computer guy”, this is how we punish Microsoft. “No, I won’t fix that Windows PC. But Chromebooks are nice and Ipads are great too. Oh, you’re on a strict budget? Give Linux a spin then, it won’t cost you a dime and you don’t need to worry about malware. I’ll even set it up for free if you want!”

    I already converted one senior citizen Windows user to Linux and boy did it feel great.

    1. dark said on August 22, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      @Kevin Nice. Keep switching many more users to Linux. :) Eventually we will hit critical mass so developers of apps and games will have to port to Linux and deliver via Snaps or flatpak, or Steam.

    2. Kwasiarz said on August 22, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      They won’t notice that you left, so…

    3. Johnny said on August 21, 2018 at 10:19 pm

      @Kevin well said!

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