Microsoft Phasing Out Windows 8

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has announced several measures to slowly kill off Windows 8. It's targeting apps to try to persuade holdouts to upgrade to Windows 10.

From October 31st, 2018, new apps designed for either Windows 8 or 8.1 on desktop or Windows Phone 8 on mobile devices can no longer be added to the Microsoft Store.

From July 1st, 2019, Microsoft will stop sending app updates to Windows Phone 8 devices. The theory seems to be that developers will no longer have any reason to work on the platform and in turn it will become less and less attractive to users. Updates for existing Windows 8 and 8.1 desktop apps will be allowed until July 1st, 2023. (Source:

Windows Phone 8 A Bust

In both cases, it appears the ban on app updates will include blocking security fixes. That's not 100 percent guaranteed, as Microsoft has previously relented on such deadlines if it believes not allowing security updates on outdated software poses too wide of a security risk.

The change probably won't make much difference to the mobile market as only a tiny percentage of users are running Windows Phone, rather then the relaunched Windows 10 Mobile. (Source:

Some Users May Still Hold Out

What happens with desktop users is less predictable. Some people who genuinely like Windows 8 and have intentionally refused to upgrade to Windows 10 may be upset.

Contrastingly, some users may have disliked the dramatic overhaul that came with Windows 8 and its apparent shift of focus towards mobile and touchscreen computing. In many cases they may have opted to ignore the entire "app" model, which resolves around obtaining apps via the Microsoft Store, rather than the traditional method of downloading programs direct from websites manually installing them.

Some will also have used programs designed to hide the Microsoft Store and app tiles altogether, preferring the old-fashioned Windows look and feel. The irony is that many of these users will not notice the changes Microsoft is making now and thus efforts to get them to upgrade won't have much effect.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you still use Windows 8 on desktop or mobile? If so, are you bothered by Microsoft's changes? Could the lack of security updates be a problem?

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Average: 5 (4 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

Windows 8 on PCs was an abomination when it debuted because they removed the start menu and replaced it with "tiles" and Microsoft "apps" with strange and limited inter-operability with standard Windows "programs" that everyone was already used to using. The entire interface was a mess and confused too many users.

Windows 8 was Microsoft's foray into the Mobile Computing market, but instead of having a pocket PC (phone) that could run Windows programs (apps) seamlessly (and with backwards compatibility with a PC - as Windows 10 now promises to do), Microsoft ended up isolating its users. The end result was that users either held their breath waiting for things to be "fixed", or they jumped shipped and abandoned their PCs and switched to another platform (Mac, Linux, smartphone, tablet).

Windows 8.1 was an improvement over Windows 8 and Classic Shell made everything usable again with a proper functioning Start menu. Windows 10 was a massive overhaul of Windows 8 / 8.1 and with Classic Shell now it's very solid.

Windows Phones are, unfortunately, complete garbage. There is almost zero support for apps because developers would rather spend their time on a platform (Android, iOS) that has a larger number of followers, rather than one that has almost zero. The Windows Apps are often full of bugs, which makes the entire user experience horrible.

I had a friend who purchased a Windows Phone, expecting to be able to sync everything with his Windows Server and Microsoft Exchange, but even that was problematic. The graphical user interface and the display was painful to use and the phone often locked up and/or refused to load apps and needed to be rebooted constantly. The only browser on the Windows Phone is Edge (which has improved dramatically since that time on Windows 10), but back then it was incredibly buggy and painfully slow.

So there you have it - Windows Hate, otherwise known as Windows 8 - was a disaster, including the Windows Phones that partnered alongside. I can't say if "Windows 10 Mobile" phones are any better but I would expect it to be only a marginally better experience than Windows Phones that debuted before.

olds97_lss's picture

Classic shell is no longer developed on.

Per their site:
As of December 2017, Classic Shell is no longer in active development.

I used that as well with w8.1 and I think I'm still using it with w10.

Dennis Faas's picture

Classic Shell still works with Win10 as it is (for now), but the project has been taken over by another developer and is now called "Open Shell" - available at MajorGeeks.

olds97_lss's picture

I sorted that out shortly after I made my comment. Since I'm still running the original, I didn't want to risk downloading/screwing up my PC with the new version, so I guess I'll find out when I get a new PC.

randyh2's picture

I'm probably the only user who likes Windows 8! I couldn't update my PC with an AMD chip to 8.1 as it didn't have the needed features, but 8.1 worked on my Compaq laptop.
Did you know that whatever tile was in the top left corner of all the tiles, you could start by just pressing the "Enter" key? A nice "feature" I discovered by accident!
And I would probably still be using Windows 8 on my PC and 8.1 on my laptop if I had to pay for Windows 10! Ain't free great?
In fact, I liked Windows 8 so much that I actually bought a copy!
I went from XP to Windows 8.

Boots66's picture

I realized I finally needed to move on from WinXP Pro and went through the steps of a new PC with almost all the top bells and whistles and the latest MS OS - Win8 Pro.
Shortly after we were advised to move on to Win8.1 Pro and that is where all my issues progressed from thanks to Micorsoft - I started the upgrade from a local account and half way through was forced to sign back in with a Microsoft Account.
Ever since then, several of my file folders can no longer be accessed - possibly they were moved up to OneDrive but I do not have an account! When I moved on to Win10 Pro, the issues continued but got worse to the point
that I will be connecting, I hope, with Dennis, to confirm things but it seems I will now have to blow my SS 'C' Drive and rebuild to get back my full functionality. Win 8 Pro was a total change and not one that was totally unuseable.
However, with the issues Microsoft added into Win8 and then to later upgrades, is what killed Win8 as an Operating System

dan_2160's picture

I'm not quite sure what you mean that you can't access some of your file folders. But if you're getting a message that the folder cannot be accessed, you may need to adjust permissions for that folder. I don't pretend to be an expert on this, but I've run into this problem when rebuilding a few computers with new motherboards and CPUs and then doing a fresh install of Windows 10. Some of the folders (on both rebuilt computers) were no accessible on the "D" data drive following the fresh installation of Windows 10 (which otherwise went quite smoothly).

But by opening the File Manager, right clicking on the misbehaving folder and selecting "Properties," I was able to initiate the process to re-establish access to the folder. If I recall correctly, I chose the "Sharing" tab and first turned on sharing, essentially with myself. If that didn't make the folder accessible, went to "Advanced Sharing." There I would check "Share this folder." And then I would click on "Permissions" where I would select "Share Permissions." If "Everyone" was listed under Group or user names, I'd make sure Full Control, Change, and read were all checked. In many instances I had to click on the "Add" button where I would enter my email address for my Microsoft account that I used with Windows 10. That nearly always solved the problem and the file folder would become accessible again. There's also a process for "inheriting" permissions that sometimes needed to be used -- you can likely find that process online. You can get the scoop on inheriting permissions at:

What you need to do varies by exactly what your accessibility issue is. If you need to "take ownership" of a folder or file, get instructions at:

I hope this helps.

Boots66's picture

Hi Dan,
Just wanted to say thanks for the suggestions. don't know if they will work but, I will look into your idea and then see what to make of things.
What I said was that I would attempt to open a folder, and be told that I no longer had access to this folder, and this happened after what I would call a rather laborious upgrade from 8 Pro to 8.1 Pro. What has frustrated me is that only one Microsoft tech responded to my requests for help and after a couple of relatively simple suggestions, stopped answering my questions.
Thanks your help is appreciated.

n7mpj's picture

However, I have upgraded my Win 7 to Win 10 on all computers and laptops. The only computer I haven't upgraded is still STUCK on Win 7. I ran across this long ago when trying to upgrade a laptop from Win XP to Win 7. I had to use a physical disk to upgrade it. It by passed the programming that kept it from upgrading the laptop to Win 7 that Microsoft was sending out. Now I'm going to have to find an actual Win 10 upgrade disk to do this on the desktop computer.

You see some of the computers that come from Newegg or Wal-Mart that are on sale have the UK version software. It's considered still as English. I believe at one point in time this website, Infopackets, sent out this information a few years ago before Win 10 was even initiated. If it works I will let you know. I just have to find the disk upgrade first.

dan_2160's picture

You can upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (assuming your hardware is adequate) without finding a disk within the Windows 10 upgrade on it. All you have to do is download the Windows Media Creation Tool at

That page provides instructions on how to use the tool to create installation media on a USB flash drive and on a DVD.

Word is that you can still do a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and 8.1. Get instructions at:
Don't delay, because this option could disappear any day. But as of July 31, 2018, it was still available.

dan_2160's picture

Having used PCs since the early 1980s (starting with an Altos CP/M machine with 8" floppy discs when my one professional colleague who really "knew" computers insisted that those MS-DOS computers would never catch on because the operating system was invented by some kids in a garage), I hope I've got a perspective that might illuminate all this bantering over the recent versions of Windows.

Among computer users, there is a large cadre of people who just can't stand change. They get comfortable with the version of Windows (or MS-DOS in the bad ol' days opf PCs) and just plain fear change to their computing routines. Every new version of Windows has been greeted with derision by many users who were comfortable with the version they were using -- and some versions (VISTA in particular) deserved many of the rotten things said about them.

But Windows 10 has come a long way from Windows XP and, frankly, is largely a joy to use. For those of us who really can't stand the new Start menu that came along with Windows 8, there is the very stable and easy to use Start10 from the good folks at Start10 (like its predecessor for Windows 8/8.1) enables you to easily restore a Windows 7 style start menu. It gives you greater control over the Start menu and other Windows appearance features. And it's something like $4.99 after the 30-day free trial.

And Windows 10 is very stable, fast, and easier to use than any previous version of Windows. Like every version of Windows, there have been difficulties with inastalling some updates (a problem to which even the Apple OS is not immune). But for the vast majority of users Windows 10 is a joy to use. Its advances over previous versions is analogous to the advances in Android phones. We recently had to replace our Samsung Galaxy S4 phones (Android 4.4) with new phones (Android 8.0) and the advances in features and ease of use are staggering - so much so that I'm using my cell phone a whole lot more frequently than with the old phone. It's been the same with Windows 10.

So while there will continue to be a whole lot of users harping about the changes that Windows 10 has wrought, I hope most folks will realize that most of these complaints are just typical of what happens everytime the operating system is upgraded to the next version. It seems to be a facet of human nature that won't go away.