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The End Of Windows 8.1


KING19

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Im sure most people already know but support for Windows 8.1 will end on January 10, 2023, Also support for Windows 7 will fully end on that same date as well

 

https://www.theverge.com/2023/1/3/23537688/microsoft-windows-7-8-end-of-support-security-updates

 

RIP to the last Microsoft OS that we was allowed to control Windows Update without any 3rd party tweaks 😂

 

Also in the OS marketshare Windows 8.1 currently has only 2.59% users

 

https://gs.statcounter.com/os-version-market-share/windows/desktop/worldwide

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RIP Windows 8.1.

 

My desktop is still on 8.1, I did the first-year upgrade-and-downgrade so I could update it to 10 whenever I want, but I never wound up wanting to upgrade it.  I'm downloading the January 10th updates as we type.

 

8.x got a lot of flak for its UI changes, but so long as you have drivers that properly support it (a potential challenge on more recent hardware), it's stable as can be.  I'm that odd person that even came around to liking its Metro UI style with the full-screen start menu and tiles, even on non-touch desktops.  I can fit up to 60 large tiles on my Start screen so all my most-used (and even semi-frequently-used) programs are accessible with a tap of the Windows key and jump of the mouse to a predictable location.  That can be replicated on 10, but the glorious lack of feature updates and Control Panel being in charge of things rather than the Settings application?  Nope... although 10 is finally reaching the age where there's not much risk of new features.

 

8.1 has a few other fringe benefits as well, such as using the pre-sandbox version of Calculator that starts instantly rather than the slow-to-start Windows 10 version, and has some nice upgrades over 7 such as the revamped Task Manager.

 

Microsoft seems to have learned at least one thing from 8.x.  11 also has controversial UI changes, but Microsoft isn't trying as hard as it typically has to ram it down people's throats.  Had they taken a more patient approach with 8.x, perhaps instead of a reactionary "this is different than what we've known since Windows 95" dominating the headlines, the Metro/Tile style would have gradually spread with more positive coverage from those who voluntarily chose it.  I was skeptical at first, but being able to wade into it at my own speed, eventually found it to be my favorite.

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I was also on Windows 8.1 for a long time from 2012 when 8 was released to early 2019 when I upgraded to my current laptop. So I skipped Windows 10 for 3 years, and finally started using it on version 1809.

 

I wasn't a fan of the Windows start screen but it really didn't bother me because it was possible for Windows to start at the desktop instead of the start screen and the new WinX menu which I used a lot because it provided some handy hotkeys. The "superbar" was the only thing transparent in Windows Explorer, all the window borders are now a solid color which was part of Microsoft's new Metro UI. I never used the Microsoft Store, just stuck with typical Win32 desktop apps. So to me it was an slightly improved version of Windows 7, with lots of UI bloat which was possible (but probably not easy) to avoid.

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8 perfect years with 8.1 on a Dell Latitude E7440 (perfect as well, refuses to die). Open Shell & removal of useless apps. Still my daily laptop for email, browsing, youtube, music stream, basic image editing etc.

Original os install 02.2015 (+ updates) still running flawlessly, never seen a bluescreen or any other problem (...apart from my own doing, always fixed with Reflect images).

Only bad experience came from the period when MS was hammering in their "update to 10" attacks, but that plague was not the OS's fault.

What a great OS (8.1) this is (was). It's W7 MK2 imo. Will keep it on the Latitude for the time being.

Edit: forgot to mention original 8, what a disgusting, ridiculous contraption (the user interface, the os behind was probably ok).

From systeminfo:

Quote

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro

OS Version:                6.3.9600 N/A Build 9600
Original Install Date:     04.02.2015, 09:46:48
System Manufacturer:       Dell Inc.
System Model:              Latitude E7440

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I'm also running 8.1 on my AW17, the GPU upgrade forces to boot into UEFI only and 980M on this machine does not allow to boot into Win7 using VGA legacy out BIOS does not have the information. But the OS is super stable, rock solid. Never had any BSODs or anything. it's just Win8.1 no updates either. The NT Kernel updates in Win8.1 make it very fast over Windows 7 in some aspects without the extra nonsense of 10's bloated OS and processes.

 

Shame how the OS has now become WaaS. The modern 11 is not fit for a desktop OS let alone install it. Garbage. Windows 10 1809 / 21H2 LTSC are the only viable options, or the good old last updated Windows 7 with Updatepack7R2.

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My old HP ENVY laptop is still running Windows 8.1 and after using it for like an hour today it made miss Windows 8.1 where i can control my PC the way i want to and plus i wasnt forced to use Microsoft store and DCH drivers like Windows 10... I never had an issue with the OS itself other than causing BSODs at times because i was testing my undevolt. I installed open shell and some tweaks to avoid using Metro as i always hated it.. At least they kinda learned their lesson with Windows 10.

 

Also Windows 8.1 wasnt so bloated with junk apps unlike Windows 10/11.

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There is something to be said about Windows 8.1 feeling less bloated than 10, in that it is very responsive.  A friend once asked me why I kept using my old Core i5 2500k desktop when I had a shiny then-new Kaby Lake i7-8750H laptop.  A lot of the reason was that even though by all respects the new laptop should have felt faster based on raw specs, in practice the Windows UI was more responsive on the old workhorse.  The obvious difference that could account for that was the operating system.

 

I sometimes bemoan how software has kept up with hardware in terms of resource requirements.  My old Pentium II with Windows 98 was slow as molasses at booting, but once it finally finished booting, it could start Word 2000 faster than my 8.1 desktop with Word 2010, and I wouldn't be surprised if that in turn is faster than my Ryzen 5800H/Windows 10 laptop would be with Word 2019.

 

I'll be curious to see how long Windows 8.1 still feels viable.  For me, XP still felt viable for about 2 years after its expiration date, although increasingly less so as time went on.  I expect something similar for 8.1, with gradual discontinuation of software support eventually resulting in it not being very realistic to run as a modern system.  It might last a bit longer than XP did though, with its architecture being comparatively several years newer at the time of its expiration, and the pace of evolution in OS features slowing down.

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On 1/21/2023 at 1:55 PM, Sandy Bridge said:

.....and the pace of evolution in OS features slowing down.

And...Windows 11 :classic_unsure:

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A few weeks passed: bank accounts not emptied, websites does not display upside-down and filled with p**n ads, drives not encrypted by ransomware, email not hacked etc. So, 8.1 is safe and well 😀!

btw, Defender still getting regular updates, all that's needed. Otherwise, I'd install some other av.

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To be fair, typically 8.1 has been getting updates once a month on Patch Tuesday, and we are not yet to the first Patch Tuesday (February) where it won't be getting updates.  Assuming there are no out-of-schedule patches, the "end of support" typically means the last Patch Tuesday, so the OS doesn't actually fall behind on patches until a month later.

 

And it really does depend on your habits.  We aren't in the Wild West days of Windows XP SP0 anymore where just connecting to the Internet could result in viruses (or so I've heard).  Networking hardware is more secure, Windows has had a firewall built-in since XP SP2 that will keep working even after support expires, and we can stream music from Spotify instead of having to hope that the file we downloaded from KaZaA really is the latest Weird Al hit.  I'd even venture that so long as you are interacting with known-safe sites, you're probably safer browsing the web on XP SP3 today, 8+ years after its date of expiry, than you would have been in early 2002 when it didn't have a firewall.

 

8.1 will continue to benefit from those XP SP2 security improvements, as well as many more since then.

 

It's really the "doing things that would violate NotebookTalk's terms of use" part of web surfing that becomes riskier the farther out of support you get.

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9 hours ago, 6730b said:

A few weeks passed: bank accounts not emptied, websites does not display upside-down and filled with p**n ads, drives not encrypted by ransomware, email not hacked etc. So, 8.1 is safe and well 😀!

Just don't click, download and install everything you see/find interesting😎

 

Some fun for the weekend 🙂 

 

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10 hours ago, 6730b said:

.....websites does not display upside-down and filled with p**n ads, ......
.

Wait...that's not normal for you?

:classic_wink:

 

Actually I'm thinking to put win8.1 back on my Ranger, its much faster than win 10 and thermals are better. :classic_sad:

I did try ZorinOS but Linux still just isnt there for daily usability in my case (as in a linux idiot and "classic" laptop)

 

 

I am a little concerned, I use this machine just to have coffee and read news in the morning before work...but my browser of choice (Brave) keeps telling me it can no longer update unless I use win 10. Still stewing on it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/28/2023 at 1:34 AM, Eban said:

Wait...that's not normal for you?

:classic_wink:

 

Actually I'm thinking to put win8.1 back on my Ranger, its much faster than win 10 and thermals are better. :classic_sad:

I did try ZorinOS but Linux still just isnt there for daily usability in my case (as in a linux idiot and "classic" laptop)

 

 

I am a little concerned, I use this machine just to have coffee and read news in the morning before work...but my browser of choice (Brave) keeps telling me it can no longer update unless I use win 10. Still stewing on it.

Firefox hasn't announced dropping support for 7 or 8.1 yet, so "switch to Firefox" is likely the longest-term-viable option, as it was for XP users before 7.  Anything based on Chromium appears likely to not receive further updates, which pretty much leaves Firefox (and its derivatives) as the remaining option.

 

That said, the web moves a lot more slowly than it used to.  Websites will only stop working with old browsers gradually over a period of many years.  I can still browse the other forum that I frequent (a XenForum running the latest version of XenForo) on Opera 12, which hasn't received a non-security update since 2013.  Some news sites work on it too, such as AnandTech.

 

For coffee and news, I wouldn't expect any issues for years to come, especially if you use an ad blocker.  A malicious ad slipping through is probably the biggest risk if you stick to reputable sites.

 

(This all assumes you haven't made powerful enemies.  If you have powerful enemies who will want to actively hack you, or run a corporate system that hackers would find appealing, it's probably not a great idea to run outdated software)

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8 hours ago, Sandy Bridge said:

Firefox hasn't announced dropping support for 7 or 8.1 yet, so "switch to Firefox" is likely the longest-term-viable option, as it was for XP users before 7.  Anything based on Chromium appears likely to not receive further updates, which pretty much leaves Firefox (and its derivatives) as the remaining option.

 

That said, the web moves a lot more slowly than it used to.  Websites will only stop working with old browsers gradually over a period of many years.  I can still browse the other forum that I frequent (a XenForum running the latest version of XenForo) on Opera 12, which hasn't received a non-security update since 2013.  Some news sites work on it too, such as AnandTech.

 

For coffee and news, I wouldn't expect any issues for years to come, especially if you use an ad blocker.  A malicious ad slipping through is probably the biggest risk if you stick to reputable sites.

 

(This all assumes you haven't made powerful enemies.  If you have powerful enemies who will want to actively hack you, or run a corporate system that hackers would find appealing, it's probably not a great idea to run outdated software)

 

I think your right! I used to use Firefox but after I tried Brave that was my browser of choice.

The banner announcing "You MUST upgrade to the latest windows" kinda annoyed me.

 

I have decided now to try Linux again, this time PopOS...mostly because the Nvidia drivers (lack of) with most other distro's drove me crazy.

 

If I have an enemy in this world that would be surprising news to me. Plenty of people don't like me, that happens when I tell to "go away". :classic_wink:

 

As for occasionally browsing non-reputable web sites...um...about that.:classic_biggrin:

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  • 1 month later...
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@Papusan

Thank you, I used the direct download link and saved a copy of 8.1 patch.....just in case :classic_wink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Steam is ending support for Windows 7/8/8.1 at the end of the year.

https://help.steampowered.com/en/faqs/view/4784-4F2B-1321-800A

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10 hours ago, Aaron44126 said:

Steam is ending support for Windows 7/8/8.1 at the end of the year.

https://help.steampowered.com/en/faqs/view/4784-4F2B-1321-800A

 

Its a not surprise, According to the latest steam survey only 2% of users are using Windows 7/8.1 on steam.

 

Also most known web browsers already dropped support

 

Still sucks though....

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I remember when Steam dropped XP support.  Pretty sure it was the same thing, Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) dropping XP support.  CEF is the bane of old operating systems as it's embedded in so many applications.

 

Good news, the end of support isn't for another 9 months, and it's also somewhat fungible.  I kept using Steam on XP intermittently for another 6 months after support was dropped by always starting it with my Internet connection disabled starting shortly before the end of support, so it never downloaded the client that broke XP support.  I expect the same should work on 7/8.1... the problem is if you slip up once, your Steam will break.

 

According to https://steamcommunity.com/discussions/forum/1/1639788130289877816/, you can also block updates this way:

 

Or you can create the following file in your Steam folder:


Steam.cfg
and put inside the following: BootStrapperInhibitAll=Enable

 

This is supposed to prevent the client from installing updates, which would give you full Steam functionality in 2024 on the end-of-2023 client version, at least until something changes that breaks compatibility.  My eXPerience the last go-round, not knowing about Steam.cfg, was things kept working for half a year until I forgot and let the client update, but of course there's no guarantee, things could break in two weeks or they could work for two years, and my guess is different parts of Steam would break at different times gradually.  But it should at least allow locally installed games that check for the Steam client being present to continue running indefinitely, even if things like chat and buying new games and updating existing ones gradually break.

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52 minutes ago, Sandy Bridge said:

But it should at least allow locally installed games that check for the Steam client being present to continue running indefinitely, even if things like chat and buying new games and updating existing ones gradually break.

 

If you look up the term "Steam emulator", you can find replacement steam_api.dll / steam_api64.dll files that you can drop in your game directory that will allow games that check for Steam's presence to work without the Steam client installed.  As long as you have the game files downloaded, that should allow you to play your games indefinitely.  However, it won't provide Steam online features (achievements / leaderboards / chat), and some games that have more aggressive DRM than just the Steam client check will not like the "bad" Steam DLL file.

 

Oh, and I'd avoid having those fake Steam DLLs around on a system that also has the Steam client running; I'm not completely sure about this but I think I saw reports on Reddit of some users getting their accounts banned because of this.

 

16 hours ago, KING19 said:

Also most known web browsers already dropped support

 

Mozilla has committed to supporting Windows 7/8 at least through the release of Firefox 115 ESR, which itself will continue to get security updates until 3Q 2024.  They could go longer.  It doesn't seem that a decision of when to end support has been made yet.  (I actually use Firefox ESR as my primary browser.)

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3 hours ago, Aaron44126 said:

If you look up the term "Steam emulator", you can find replacement steam_api.dll / steam_api64.dll files that you can drop in your game directory that will allow games that check for Steam's presence to work without the Steam client installed.  As long as you have the game files downloaded, that should allow you to play your games indefinitely.  However, it won't provide Steam online features (achievements / leaderboards / chat), and some games that have more aggressive DRM than just the Steam client check will not like the "bad" Steam DLL file.

 

Oh, and I'd avoid having those fake Steam DLLs around on a system that also has the Steam client running; I'm not completely sure about this but I think I saw reports on Reddit of some users getting their accounts banned because of this.

That is good to know; I was not aware of that.  I'll keep that in my back pocket just in case I need it for some reason... unlikely now since the old XP LAN machine is currently out-of-commission, and I should be fully migrated by the end of the year, but good to know about.

 

Also good to hear Firefox is keeping 7/8.1 support for another year, that was TBD last I'd heard.

 

Now for seeing if I can get the March 2023 8.1 updates installed, finally got January installed after downloading it manually, for some reason it always failed via Windows Update for me.

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Small telltales that one runs an outdated OS are creeping in :O)
FF 114, the Bookmark popup has shrunk, illegible. Opera, hiccups and lockups.

Otherwise, 8.1 in top form. Gets regular Defender updates, all that's needed to keep it rolling as long as proving useful one way or another (mainly as a dedicated music & film streaming box connected to stereo system \ TV).

Edit: bookmark popup back to normal in 114.0.1
 

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Mozilla has announced that Firefox 115 ESR will be the final version for 8.1 (and maybe 7 as well?  I don't have 7 so I didn't pay as much attention to that).

 

I can't complain too much, sure it would be nice for it to have been 122 or whatever the next ESR would be, but 115 ESR will get updated until September of 2024.  Having used 52 ESR intermittently for several years after it was the last one for XP, it eventually became more obsolete but the last time I ran it, it was still pretty serviceable.  115 ESR will likely be "good enough" for a long time.

 

Though I do hope they don't have illegible text bugs like that one in the final version.  I doubt they will, the point of ESR is all the bugs get ironed out, and Mozilla's the best major browser vendor out there for legacy OS support.  My Firefox is still on 113, so I can't confirm whether I also see that problem yet.

 

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I'm definitely using 8.1 much less than I was six months ago, this Win10 laptop has converted me, and a lot of what I've used 8.1 for recently is spreadsheets that I haven't migrated over yet.  But I'm still using Vivaldi as much as Firefox on 8.1, and even though its last update for 8.1 was in December, I haven't seen anything not work.

Desktop: Core i5 2500k "Sandy Bridge" | RX 480 | 32 GB DDR3 | 1 TB 850 Evo + 512 GB NVME + HDDs | Seasonic 650W | Noctua Fans | 8.1 Pro

Laptop: MSI Alpha 15 | Ryzen 5800H | Radeon 6600M | 64 GB DDR4 | 4 TB TLC SSD | 10 Home

Laptop history: MSI GL63 (2018) | HP EliteBook 8740w (acq. 2014) | Dell Inspiron 1520 (2007)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/9/2023 at 5:10 PM, Sandy Bridge said:

Mozilla has announced that Firefox 115 ESR will be the final version for 8.1 (and maybe 7 as well?  I don't have 7 so I didn't pay as much attention to that).

 

I can't complain too much, sure it would be nice for it to have been 122 or whatever the next ESR would be, but 115 ESR will get updated until September of 2024.  Having used 52 ESR intermittently for several years after it was the last one for XP, it eventually became more obsolete but the last time I ran it, it was still pretty serviceable.  115 ESR will likely be "good enough" for a long time.

 

Though I do hope they don't have illegible text bugs like that one in the final version.  I doubt they will, the point of ESR is all the bugs get ironed out, and Mozilla's the best major browser vendor out there for legacy OS support.  My Firefox is still on 113, so I can't confirm whether I also see that problem yet.

 

---

 

I'm definitely using 8.1 much less than I was six months ago, this Win10 laptop has converted me, and a lot of what I've used 8.1 for recently is spreadsheets that I haven't migrated over yet.  But I'm still using Vivaldi as much as Firefox on 8.1, and even though its last update for 8.1 was in December, I haven't seen anything not work.

 

Same here even with the latest version of Firefox everything still works so its not a big deal, Same goes for Chrome after they stopped supporting Windows 7/8.1. I can still watch youtube videos and web browse without any problems. As long you stay away from certain sites you'll be fine.

Current Laptop:

Lenovo Legion 5: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 2.8Ghz (Boost: 4.2Ghz), 6GB Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti GDDR6 Memory, 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS display, 32GB 3200MHz DDR4 memory, 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD, 1 TB Teamgroup MP34 M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD, Windows 10 Home 22H2

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