What is the support lifecycle policy for Windows 8.1
Windows 8.1 will remain under the same lifecycle policy as Windows 8 with support ending 1/10/2023. Windows 8 customers will have 24 months to move to Windows 8.1 after the General Availability of the Windows 8.1 update in order to remain supported.
Why are you requiring Windows 8 customers move to Windows 8.1 two years after the General Availability?
Historically, we have a similar support approach related to Windows service packs; when a Windows service pack is released, Microsoft provides customers 24 months of support for the prior service pack or original RTM version. Unlike service packs that are typically just a collection of fixes, Windows 8.1 has new features and enhancements, and we designed Windows 8.1 to give customers an ability to deploy this update in a manner that is similar to how customers deploy service packs, therefore we are applying the existing service pack support policy to Windows 8.1.
What is the date by which Windows 8 customers will need to move to Windows 8.1 to continue to remain supported?
The two year time period to move Windows 8.1 begins at the General Availability of the Windows 8.1 update, which is 90 days following RTM. At our Worldwide Partner Conference in July 2013, we announced RTM for OEMs would happen in August and we expect to deliver the update to customers later this year in time for holiday, however we are not disclosing exact dates at this time. Quality remains our key priority in determining when the product is ready for release. We will update the Windows 8 lifecycle timelines when the date is available.