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SANS ISC: InfoSec Handlers Diary Blog - This is not a test/typo: Support for Windows 8.1 Ends in a month! InfoSec Handlers Diary Blog


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This is not a test/typo: Support for Windows 8.1 Ends in a month!

Published: 2014-05-08
Last Updated: 2014-05-13 01:46:09 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
8 comment(s)

It hasn't really been reported much, but just after Microsoft sort of stopped releasing patches for Windows XP last month, we now have to get going on the next phase-out: Windows 8.1! 

[In a first version of this diary, I stated that support ends tomorrow. As a reader points out in a comment, Microsoft announced earlier today that it extended the deadline by a month] [5]

As Microsoft wraps it in beautiful marketing speak: 

"Since Microsoft wants to ensure that customers benefit from the best support and servicing experience and to coordinate and simplify servicing across both Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 RT and Windows 8.1, this update will be considered a new servicing/support baseline... beginning with the May Patch Tuesday, Windows 8.1 user's devices without the update installed will no longer receive security updates." [1]

To make things a bit more interesting, there are 3 different versions of what people commonly refer to as "Windows 8":

"Windows 8" , "Windows 8.1" and "Windows 8.1 Update". 

I guess in the old days, "Windows 8.1 Update" would be considered a "Service Pack". But then again, that would be something people are used to and not all that confused by, so Microsoft figured to mix it up and call this one "Windows 8.1 Update".

Sadly, there are reports that individuals have problems installing Windows 8.1 Update. You can now even deliver Windows 8.1 Update via WSUS, even though Windows 8.1 initially broke WSUS.  [2][3]

So with WSUS fixed, and Windows 8.1 Update only breaking some of your systems, you will now be in grant shape for making Windows 8.1 Update your new baseline as this will be the last patch Tuesday for Windows 8.1 Pre-update patches.

Haven't upgraded to Windows 8.1 and still not missing the "Start" button? You should be good until 2023. Lots of time to get used to the new interface. But Windows 8 will only be available for retail sale until end of October [4]. 

[1] http://blogs.technet.com/b/gladiatormsft/archive/2014/04/12/information-regarding-the-latest-update-for-windows-8-1.aspx

[2] http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/springboard/archive/2014/04/16/windows-8-1-update-and-wsus-availability-and-adjusted-timeline.aspx

[3] http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2959977

[4] http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle

[5] http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2014/05/12/windows-8-1-update-requirement-extended.aspx

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Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.
SANS Technology Institute
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