This would be much bigger news if Windows 8 was even supported anymore, but it’s not. But it is still perhaps worth noting that Microsoft this week quietly updated a 2018 blog post about Windows Phone and Windows 8/8.1 Store app expirations.
“Microsoft Store will soon stop accepting new apps with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 packages (XAP and APPX),” a Microsoft blog post from August 2018 reads. “Soon after that date, we will stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier and Windows 8/8.1 devices; at that time, updates will only be made available to customers using Windows 10 devices.”
Microsoft updated the blog post on April 2, 2019, but it doesn’t explain what changed. Based on a comparison with the original version of the post, available via The Way Back Machine, it appears that the quote above has not hanged. But what has changed is the date at which Microsoft will stop distributing app updates to the original shipping version of Windows 8.
In the original post, Microsoft wrote that it would “stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices” on July 1, 2019. But the April 2 update to the post has changed that to include Windows 8 as well. It now reads that Microsoft will “stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices, and Windows 8.”
Note that it does not say anything about Windows 8.1. That’s because the app update schedule for Windows 8.1 remains unchanged and still expires on July 1, 2023.
I don’t see this as a big deal. Windows 8 was supplanted by Windows 8.1 a long time ago (much like Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 long ago supplanted the initial version of Windows 7, which is no longer supported). And if you look at the Windows Lifecycle FAQ, you’ll see that Windows 8 is no longer supported anyway. Only Windows 8.1 is. So this change probably just addresses an oversight in the original post.
“We are applying the existing service pack policy to Windows 8.1,” Microsoft notes, in explaining why it required Windows 8 customers move to Windows 8.1 two years after it became generally available. “Windows 8.1 does not change any hardware requirements compared with Windows 8 or Windows 7 and existing Windows Store apps will work with Windows 8.1. The update has little to no impact on existing desktop apps and there is no direct software cost because business customers who have Software Assurance licensing will receive Windows 8.1 as a free update. For organizations running legacy applications that must be upgraded, there are tools to manage deployment in order to help mitigate cost and impact.”
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