In early January 2023, Microsoft 365 for Windows won’t support Windows 8 or 8.1. Here’s the details of what you’ll have to do and when.
Currently, Microsoft 365 for Windows is supported on Windows 11, Windows 10 and Windows 8.1/8. It’s been a little surprising that the older Windows is still supported on ‘365’ Office since Office 2019 and Office 2021 don’t.
10 January 2023
On 10 January 2023, Microsoft 365 (Office 365) will stop supporting
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 8,
- Windows 7 some organizations paid extra for Windows 7 to be kept ‘alive’ via the Extended Security Updates (ESU) program.
- Windows Server 2008 R2.
There’ll be no more security updates to Microsoft 365 after that date.
The Office 365 software will keep working but the security risk will increase over time. The software will get more outdated, not protected from new attacks and newly discovered security lapses in Office.
New Installations blocked
Microsoft will block new installations of Microsoft 365 on Windows 8.1 and other expired Windows from 10 January 2023.
That will be a problem for anyone who needs to reinstall Microsoft 365 on an existing Windows 8.1 or earlier. The Repair options should be OK but reinstalling will be blocked.
In our view, blocking installations is an extreme and unrealistic demand by Microsoft. By all means, include a warning that the OS is no longer supported but stopping legitimate customers reinstallation of purchased software is unfair because not everyone can afford to upgrade their computers according to Microsoft’s (sales) schedule.
According to Microsoft customers should ‘Act now’ to upgrade their computers to Windows 11. Ignore that ‘call to action’ which serves Microsoft need for more sales but not necessarily the ability or budget of customers.
There’s six months until support for older Windows ends and it’s possible to extend that by a few more months without the very latest security updates.
While it’s theoretically possible to switch a Windows 8.1/8 computer to Windows 10, there are practical considerations.
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 had much the same hardware requirements. If you believe that, I have various bridges 🌉 to sell you at reasonable prices (London, New York, San Francisco, Millau and Sydney) <g>.
In the real world, you’ll probably need to upgrade an older computer to make it work efficiently on Windows 10. Most likely, increase the RAM to at least 8GB and possibly switch from an older hard drive to Solid State Drive (SSD).
Moving to Windows 11 is a lot more complicated because Microsoft introduced more hardware requirements, especially security related. If buying a new computer, make sure it’s fully Windows 11 compliant.
The Office Watch books have chapters devoted to the hardware requirements of Windows. Not just Microsoft unreasonably low requirement but our more realistic suggestions with explanation of our reasoning.
If you have Windows 8.1 and Microsoft 365 (Office 365) then start planning a changeover to either a upgraded or new machine. But there’s no rush and certainly no need to “Act Now” as Microsoft wants.