Skip to main content

Windows 8 dropped by Microsoft in latest Patch Tuesday

microsoft headquarters
Albertus Engbers/123rf
It’s the second Tuesday of the first month of 2016, which means it’s time for Microsoft’s first security update of the year — and it’s a big one. Not in that it opens up new features and improves performance across the board, but because it brings an end to mainstream support for the Windows 8 OS and several versions of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has a history of providing long-standing support for many of its operating systems, but there is always a cut off point; there’s only so much time and resources Microsoft can put into propping up old platforms. And today marks the final resting place of Windows 8. Anyone continuing to use it without the 8.1 service pack upgrade will no longer have full support.

Of course if you are running Windows 8 and want to stay protected, you have a lot of options. There’s the Windows 8.1 upgrade, which will cover you until 2018 for mainstream support and 2023 with extended support. The best option, though, would be to use your free upgrade to Windows 10. It’s only redeemable until the end of July this year, so get to it if that’s your plan.

As for those using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, certain versions of the older browser are now no longer supported. You can continue to use older versions, but they need to be in specific configurations. If you’re on Windows Vista, you need to be using IE 9 or newer. If you’re on Windows 7, you need to use IE 11 or newer. And if you’re on Windows 8.1, it needs to be IE 11 too.

Microsoft doesn’t really encourage any of that though, and would much rather you upgraded to Windows 10 and used its new Edge browser. It has a lot of feature improvements and it will get a lot more attention from Microsoft’s developers when it comes to updates and security patches.

If you forget to do any of these updates in the next few days, don’t sweat it too much. As WinSuperSite points out, Microsoft has a plan to remind you every so often. It will annoy you into updating if its has to.

For a full list of changes this Patch Tuesday, check out Microsoft’s changelog here.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
Start Menu in Windows 10 still broken after the latest patch
dell 75 4k interactive touch monitor c7520qt review hands on 10

Windows 10 PC owners continue to flock around Reddit, the Microsoft community forum, and Twitter to report that patch KB4517389, distributed on October 8, breaks the Start Menu. Currently, Microsoft’s patch notes state that the company is not aware of any issues.

The latest patch follows another update distributed on October 3, KB4524147, which not only caused Start Menu problems but also triggered an error with the print spooler, forcing print jobs to stop processing. The new October 8 patch aimed at addressing both issues — but feedback indicates that Start Menu woes remain intact.

Read more
The U.S. government issues warning to install this emergency Windows update
microsoft issues emergency windows patch internet explorer 6 768x768

Google Chrome and Firefox might be the most popular web browsers, but a small percentage of Windows users are still depending on Microsoft's older Internet Explorer browser. If that covers you, then Microsoft is now urging you to install an emergency patch as soon as possible in order to avoid possible malicious attacks from hackers.

This latest patch corrects an issue with Internet Explorer 9 and 11 in Windows 7, 8.1, and Windows 10 and also Windows Server. Before the patch, hackers could have directed Internet Explorer users to a malicious website, which is able to exploit the scripting engine of the browser. This would have allowed hackers to execute their own code, and eventually, take full control of a victim's PC.

Read more
The best gaming PC Cyber Monday deals on AMD and Intel rigs
Gaming PC on a desk.

Today is the perfect day to start building your new gaming PC because of the bargains that you can get from Cyber Monday deals. To help you out, we've rounded up our favorite deals from two leading (and rivaling) computer parts makers, AMD and Intel, so you can instantly spot your favorites. When you're done shopping, we also recommend you check out the best Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals as a way to start "using up" some of the savings your making on building your desktop at this time of the year.
Best gaming PC Cyber Monday deals (AMD)

While AMD isn't as well-known as Intel regarding processors, it makes just as good, if not better, CPUs. They also tend to be a bit cheaper for the same power, so going with an AMD CPU makes sense if you want to keep your prices down. Luckily, Cyber Monday has further seen a decrease in overall prices, and you can nab very budget-friendly AMD gaming PCs.

Read more