Microsoft, which is seemingly working on bringing the much anticipated Windows 9 to its users across the world by Spring 2015, has now officially announced 'end of support' date for Windows 8 for business users across the world.
According to a ZDNet report, business users will need to switch from using Windows 8.1 OS, to using Windows 8.1 update 1, by 12 August 2014.
Incidentally, 12 August 2014 is Microsoft's 'Patch Tuesday', and the company is slated to release a slew of updates on the day, including the potentially useful 'out-of-date ActiveX control blocker' that prevents outdated ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer, from running.
'Out-of-date' ActiveX control blocking is applicable to Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users, with IE versions 8 through 11 covered.
Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Update was released by the company in April 2014, and Microsoft had initially set a 13 May deadline for business users to switch to the update. However, Microsoft was forced to extend the deadline to upgrade, owing to user pressure.
Now, with the Redmond-based company having set a 12 August deadline, users (business) need to switch from Windows 8.1 OS to Windows 8.1 Update, and users on Windows Server2012 R2 need to obtain Microsoft's Windows Server 2012 R2 Update.
'End of support' signifies that post a particular date (set by Microsoft), users of products that the company considers legacy, will not be eligible to receive security fixes and patches from Microsoft.
Not keeping a particular system up-to-date with latest security fixes could naturally open up possibilities of hacking and cyber-crimes, within that system.
According to the ZDNet report, Microsoft's 12 August 'Windows 8.1 Update' deadline, is also applicable to business users having Windows 8.1 Embedded Industry OS on their systems.
However, Microsoft's Patch Tuesday deadline is not applicable for general users, and those running Windows 8 (and 8.1) from within their computers at home.
It is interesting to note that Microsoft may or may not release the Windows 8.1 update 2 on Patch Tuesday. Speculations indicate that, even if the update is released, it would be only minor fixes and performance enhancements.
Earlier in the year, Microsoft had announced that Windows 7 would reach the 'End of Mainstream' support phase starting from January 2015.