Windows 8 is living its last weeks. Microsoft will officially stop supporting this operating system released in 2012 as of January 10, 2023.
If you’re still using a Windows 8/8.1 PC, it’s time to get rid of it or upgrade it. Microsoft’s operating system, the most unloved after Windows Vista, will no longer benefit from any security updates from January 10 and no option to extend its support will be offered. A blessing in disguise, no doubt.
Until then, you will have to find a solution to continue using your still functional machine, without it being open to all the winds. Because without the security patches frequently offered by Microsoft to seal security vulnerabilities, your PC and the data it contains risk becoming a real playground for potential hackers.
What solutions for after Windows 8?
Your PC is surely still working perfectly, and there is probably no reason to change it if your use remains limited and is limited to tasks that consume little resources. If you absolutely want to stay in the Windows environment, you will have to upgrade your operating system. Before you jump headlong into migrating your PC, don’t forget to make a proper backup of all your data.
However, do not expect to be able to upgrade to Windows 11. The prerequisites for installing the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system are certainly far too high for the machine configuration. Because in addition to requiring the presence of a TPM 2.0 module and Secure Boot, Windows 11 can in principle only work with some recent models of processors. If you feel like an adventurer, you can always try to install Windows 11 on your non-compatible PC using the Rufus utility which allows you to create installation media capable of bypassing Microsoft locks.
If the operation works on your machine, however, you should expect not to be able to take advantage of all the updates pushed by Microsoft. For example, installing the latest major Windows 11 update, 22H2, again requires circumventing the limitations put in place by Microsoft.
To stay on Windows, the only possible solution is to upgrade your PC to Windows 10. Microsoft still supports this version of Windows until October 14, 2025. The manipulation to perform to migrate your PC from Windows 8 to Windows 10 is pretty straightforward, and best of all, it’s mostly free. Microsoft indeed always authorizes the use of an old license of Windows for the activation of a more recent version of its operating system. You will therefore be able to use the license of the copy of Windows 8/8.1 in your possession to activate your copy of Windows 10.
Abandon Windows in favor of an open source OS
You may have been using Windows forever, and the many habits and reflexes acquired in the daily use of the OS no doubt push you to want to stay under the Microsoft OS. Yet the grass is also green elsewhere, and there’s no reason to be afraid to ditch Windows in favor of another operating system. You can, for example, choose to install a Linux distribution, such as Linux Mint, whose use is very similar to that of Windows for the most common tasks.
If the idea of using Linux on your machine still seems too complex, there is another possibility that will probably convince you. You can indeed install Chrome OS Flex, a version of Chrome OS offered by Google and which can be used on any PC. To install it, your machine must have a 64-bit Intel or AMD processor, at least 4 GB of RAM and at least 16 GB of storage space. The main advantage of this solution is that you most certainly already have a perfect command of its interface since it is mainly based on that of the Google Chrome web browser.
Chrome OS Flex thus integrates Google’s web browser and makes all Google services available in the form of WebApps such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Meet, Google Calendar, etc. You will also enjoy a real file manager in which you can manage your files stored locally and on your Google Drive space. Finally, Chrome OS Flex is not limited to Google tools: you can go to the Chrome Web Store to download additional applications.