When Windows 8.1 was released in October of 2013, then Windows 8 users could update their OS to the latest version but it was not a mandatory upgrade. That means upgrading from Windows 8 to 8.1 was not a requirement to receive uninterrupted service from Microsoft but the update from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update is a must.
Microsoft Premier Field Engineering Platform blog post said that it’s important to update your PC. According to them, the mainstream support for Windows 8.1 will expire on January 9th, 2018 and Extended Support will expire on January 10th, 2023.
The blog post said:
” Failure to install this Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with any future updates starting with Updates released in May 2014 (get busy!)
Windows 8 users who have yet to update to Windows 8.1 don’t necessarily need to also download this update, although it might not be a bad idea. Microsoft has already announced that it will stop supporting Windows 8 in the very near future. Previously, the company indicated that it will end support for Windows 8 two years after the launch of Windows 8.1, which would be on October 18th, 2015. Now a new FAQ page says that the final date for Windows 8 support has been moved back a few more months and it will now end on January 12th, 2016.”