Microsoft is blocking new apps for Windows 8 and will even start blocking app updates for the soon-to-be-obsolete operating system
Microsoft has published a roadmap for the future of Windows 8, 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.x and it is full of bad news for fans of Microsoft’s first touchscreen-enabled operating system. Come November of this year, Microsoft will no longer be accepting new Windows 8 apps. Published via the official Microsoft blog, the news pushed Windows 8 one day closer to death, which will come in 2023 when Microsoft will cease support for Windows 8 altogether. Windows 7 users will meet their end sooner, with Microsoft pulling support for the popular OS in 2020.
As well as stopping new apps coming to Windows 8, Microsoft is also planning to stop app updates for Windows Phone 8.x. After July 2019, app updates will only be available for Windows 10 devices.
Windows 10 is Microsoft’s big push towards a continuously evolving multi-device OS and it is in Microsoft’s interest to have all users working within the same ecosystem. In pursuit of this goal, Microsoft originally offered Windows 10 for free and then made its new web browser Edge a Windows 10 exclusive before releasing it on Android and iOS. Other efforts have included pulling support agents from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 forums and limiting new processor support to Windows 10.
This latest move marks a shift in Microsoft’s strategy. Rather than focusing on pushing users to update to Windows 10, the software giants is now nudging developers towards focusing their efforts on apps for its flagship operating system.
The official timetable for the decommissioning of Windows 8 and the end of app submissions is:
“October 31, 2018, New app submissions will not be accepted anymore for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone 8.x or earlier.
July 1, 2019, Microsoft will stop the distribution of application updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices.
July 1, 2023, Microsoft will stop the distribution of app updates to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 devices.”
This means come October 31 there will be no new apps added to the official Windows Store, from July next year no Windows 8.x apps will receive updates and come July 2023 the same fate awaits apps for Windows 8 and 8.1.
This all spells out a pretty stark future or Windows 8 as Microsoft continues to push users towards an app-centric way of doing things that will revolve around the official app Windows Store. Windows 10 users can still install and use .exe programs, but the latest iteration of the operating system, Windows 10S, which was developed for use on more mobile devices will only run official Windows Store apps. Desktop and Laptop computers are far from dead, but as the future looks increasingly mobile a lack of app support could spell the end for an operating system.
Windows 8 fans, be warned. Your days are officially numbered.