Windows 8.1: Microsoft Store apps continue to work, but..
Most Windows users know by know that the operating systems Windows 7 and 8.1 will reach end of support by Microsoft on January 10, 2023. The first Patch Day of 2023 is also the last day updates are released officially for these operating systems. While there is a chance that Microsoft will release a critical update to address a major security issue, as it has done in the past, it will be an exception and not the rule.
Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system was the first system Microsoft's online store launched on. Users could download and install applications and games using it, and make purchases.
Microsoft confirmed that the downloaded apps and games will continue to work. In other words: there is no killswitch that is blocking these programs from running on Windows 8.1 machines after January 10, 2023. New app purchases or in-app purchases are no longer supported after the January 2023 Patch Day. Microsoft makes no mention of free apps and games, and whether these remain available for download and installation after January 10, 2023.
"Will I be able to continue using the apps and games I have installed from Microsoft Store on my Windows 8.1 PC?"
"You can install new apps and games on a Windows 8.1 PC from Microsoft Store until January 10, 2023, and you can continue to use installed apps and games on a Windows 8.1 PC after that date. You will not be able to make any new app purchases or any in-app purchases after January 10, 2023. Installed apps and games will receive publisher updates through June 30, 2023 (or later if support is provided independently by the developer). After updates are no longer available, app quality and usability may be degraded. Customers who move to a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC can use and reinstall previously purchased apps and games on their new or upgraded PC."
Microsoft confirmed also that apps and games will receive publisher updates until June 2023, provided that publishers produce updates for these apps and games. Some publishers may support games for longer, even, which Microsoft describes vaguely as providing updates independently.
The quality of apps may deteriorate over time, and some functions may not work properly anymore due to a lack of updates, according to Microsoft.
Customers who want to retain access to apps and games, and continue to receive updates for them, need to update their machines to Windows 10 or 11 to do so. If that is not possible, buying a new PC with Windows 10 or 11 is another option, as apps and games are tied to a Microsoft Account and not a device. Free and purchased apps and games may be installed on new Windows systems, provided that these are supported on these systems.
It is unclear how successful, or not, the built-in store was on Windows 8. Did many Windows 8 users download and install apps and games from the Store, or was it only a minority?
At least some third-party developers have already announced whether they will continue to support their programs on Windows 8.1 and 7. Google will drop Chrome support in January 2023 as well, while Mozilla may extend support for at least several months.
Now You: have you ever downloaded and installed games or apps from the Microsoft Store?
> “Customers who want to retain access to apps and games, and continue to receive updates for them, need to update their machines to Windows 10 or 11 to do so.”
Moving from W7 and W8.1 directly to W11 is like buying tickets for the Titanic in the very last minute, and then smile to your own family saying “how fortunate we are!”. Thanks for the article.
Q: “Have you ever downloaded and installed games or apps from the Microsoft Store?”
A: No. Never. Not even once.
So let this be a reassurance for worried Win 8.1 users: with Win 8.1 or 10, you still can manage perfectly well without the Microsoft Store and any of its apps.
Unless you need the configuration panel for specific hardware, which is downloaded and installed from the Microsoft Store.
It’s very common for people that want to make Windows lighter, by removing the store and then they are unable to use their hardware correctly.
Apps? 3, but 2 of those were very similar.And it was years ago.
Not a good experience. It is not just the general layout of the store at that time, the tools were functionally not as good or enjoyable as their Win32 counterparts.
An experience bad enough that I made sure that the first thing I did with the Windows 11 S laptop I bought last year, was to turn it into a standard Windows 11 Home edition. While any Home edition of Windows is a suckfest of biblical proportions, it is still preferable over any Windows S edition.
I should check for the exact purchase date of my laptop and see if it is time to replace Windows 11 with Pop!_OS instead. My other laptop, with much less hardware resources and many more years of service, already has Pop!_OS on it for 2,5 years and that one works like a champ!
The statement “Quality of Apps may deteriorate” is interesting. How many times this year, alone, has an update to Win10 or Win 11 caused performance and / or usability issues?
I’ve frozen updates on programs because of usability or other issues for years because of such. If I was still using Win 7 half of the programs that I use would be from before 2020 because their developers dropped support for Win7 (the other half because of problems with newer versions).
I have never used the Microsoft Store or any of the Store apps that came with Windows 8.1 (Pro). I only use local user accounts (no Microsoft account) and have no use for the Store apps, so shortly after installing the OS I used PowerShell to remove all of them. But even if I did not remove them I use Classic Shell/Open Shell configured to look/operate like Windows 7 so I would never see the apps anyway.
Soon you will have no security updates anymore which is the bigger concern, majority of all malware is written for Windows as it is the most popular OS.
@Iron Heart and Mothy:
In my case, I’m sticking with Windows 8 until October 2023 (when support for Server 2012 and 2012 R2 updates runs out). It’s almost like having nine months of free ESU updates for Windows 8 and 8.1. If Firefox keeps ESR 102 active until then, I’ll be OK. But ……
I’m starting to eye Windows 10 LTSC 2019, which is pretty much striped down (no app store, Edge or UWP apps) and is updated until 2029. First – how to get it. Secondly, how to customize the OS so that the task bar, title bar, caption buttons and start menu can permanently look like an older OS. The rest I can live with. So that may be my next move.
Security updates are only one layer of security when using a defense in depth strategy and are not even the most important. There are other much more important layers of defense that will protect a system from malware. Experience has proven this strategy for 20+ years now, as I have used various old outdated Windows operating systems (95, 98, 2000, XP, 7, etc.), even old outdated web browsers, for long periods of time without any malware issues.
How to get it?
Something something archive.org, something something ISO file, something something get the key from elsewhere.
As for your second question; here are two videos that shows you how to deal with the task bar / title bar / caption buttons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCFMos8uMO8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlaqsRBboEY
There is also Open Shell, for the start menu: https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu
Thanks @Iron Heart
The first solution came to me while I was dealing with bad weather here – those nasty TORRENTial rains we’ve been getting in Canada :p :p (yah right….lol)
I’ll will check out your links. Again, thank you :)
Let me introduce you to my special friend Rufus too… https://rufus.ie/en/
Rufus has that odd habit of creating bootable installation media from ISOs, of course this only, ONLY works with Windows Home / Pro ISOs, Rufus would 101%, never ever accept LTSC ISOs of course.
Have fun with your Windows Home / Pro installation, and as always, I do encourage to comply with Microsoft’s licensing and their Terms of Service. Any theoretical knowledge you could infer or conclude from something I said, is strictly incidental.
@Coriy It looks a bit menacing to me: “The quality of apps may deteriorate over time, and some functions may not work properly anymore due to a lack of updates, according to Microsoft.”
How can the a program “deteriorate over time”? It doesn’t make sense that “functions may not work properly anymore due to a lack of updates”.
0patch.com still releases micropatches shown to generally be superior to MSFT’s official patches, and are released much sooner. As long as 0patch exists I’m staying with the faster Windows 7 Pro.
This is the reason you never use anything from the Microsoft Store, not even on the most recent version of Windows. You’ll eventually find yourself continually let down by Microsoft. Stop utilizing these stupid, fart apps. Stick with legitimate win32 programs and get them from the developer website. We must stop allowing wall gardens or it will get worse.
The cloud = remote kill switch
Windows 8 users are now going to find out the hard way why app stores are a bad idea. Apps from app stores can be remotely killed any time. Imagine spending large amounts of money on cloud apps, only for the cloud company to send the remote kill switch on it.
This is why large companies are so obsessed with trying to force people into the cloud, because it shifts the balance of power and gives them the ability to remote kill switch any app or person.
Meanwhile, my Windows 98 machine doesn’t depend on the cloud and I can install software on it from CD-ROM anytime I want and no company can remote kill switch it.
Again though, the app or program is not YOURS. It’s THEIRS. All you have is a license to use it, according to the terms and conditions they see fit. That’s no different than a specialized application which required a dongle in to a parallel or serial port.
Everybody here thinks they OWN their software. They don’t. There’s no likening to copyright law.
Hey, I’m a hypocrite. I don’t want Microsoft monitoring me either, but at least I admit that I’m not entitled to that.