Windows 8 is about to get a lot less secure.
After January 12, Microsoft will stop offering security patches for the three-year-old operating system. Users will have to upgrade to either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 to keep receiving updates.
As Ed Bott notes over at ZDNet, Windows 8 is an exception to Microsoft’s typical support lifecycle policy, which provides 10 years of security fixes after the initial launch date. That’s because Microsoft considers Windows 8.1—a meaty update released nearly one year after Windows 8—to be a service pack, rather than an entirely new OS. Microsoft only guarantees two years of security patches for users who don’t update to the latest service pack.