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The end of support for Windows 8.1 – what’s next?

The end of support for Windows 8.1 on January 10, 2023, means that computers will function and continue to operate as usual, but the following features will no longer be offered by Microsoft:

  • Technical support in case of problems
  • Software updates
  • Security updates and fixes

Devices with Windows 8.1 installed continue to run perfectly, but without continuous software and security updates, there is an increased risk of the device becoming infected with viruses and malware. Microsoft recommends upgrading to a version of Windows that is still supported, such as Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Users of Windows 8.1 devices have the following options:

  1. Performing the free upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. The upgrade takes place within the version, i.e. from Windows 8.1 Home to Windows 10 Home, and from Windows 8.1 Professional to Windows 10 Professional. Considering the usually not so powerful hardware, Windows 10 is, in our opinion, the most sensible variant for the upgrade.
  2. The second option is to install Windows 10 on the Windows 8.1 device first and then additionally upgrade it with Windows 11 for free. Please check the minimum requirements before upgrading to Windows 11.
  3. If the device is already suffering from performance problems with Windows 8.1, Microsoft recommends purchasing a new device with Windows 11 preinstalled.

Users of Windows 8.1 devices have the following options:

Upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 is free. An activated licensed version of Windows is required. Please follow these steps for upgrade:

  1. First, download Windows 10 Update Assistant from Microsoft.
  2. Double-click the file and accept the license terms.
  3. The upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 is being checked and prepared.
  4. Then the installation will be done. Never switch off the PC during the entire process.
  5. Finally, you will be asked to restart your PC.

If you get a message that Windows isn’t activated, look for your Windows 8.1 product key. Unless you are using a licensed version of Windows 8.1 or the version is not activated, you must purchase a license. KEYS.EXPRESS offers you the following versions of Windows 10:

Once the product key is entered, the installation can be completed.

Users of Windows 8.1 devices have the following options:

Use the following overview to find out the differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro.

Functions in comparisonWindows 10 Home OEM Key (32-/64-Bit)Windows 10 Pro OEM Key (32-/64-Bit)  
Voice assistant CortanaXX
Tablet modeXX
Browser Microsoft EdgeXX
App for XboxXX
Xbox controller supportXX
DirectX 12 supportXX
Integrated firewallXX
network protectionXX
Integrated virus protectionXX
Group Policy Editor X
Assigned Access X
Dynamic provisioning devices X
corporate update X
remote desktop X
Hyper-V Client X
Bitlocker encryption X




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