I have an Asus all in one purchased in August 2013 with Windows 8. I had a few issues after updating it to Windows 8.1 which I was not able to solve even with the help the Asus technicians, who I might say are pretty much useless, so I reinstalled Windows 8 and all is fine now. My question is this: Can I stay with Windows 8 and ignore the update message for 8.1?
Yes, you can stay with Windows 8 but I’d rather you didn’t. And I think in the long run, you’d rather upgrade too.
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Support windows are probably shrinking
Unfortunately, without knowing the problems that you had upgrading, it’s hard to say exactly what is and is not possible. So I’m going to make a gross assumption that fundamentally your machine actually is capable of updating to Windows 8.1, but that something unknown is preventing it.
However, I think you’re going to want 8.1 or 8.2 or whatever comes later… someday. Much like a service pack, I’m not expecting Microsoft to continue to support plain old Windows 8 for very long. At some point, they’re going to say enough is enough and insist that people have 8.1 or some future version.
In the past, sticking with a slightly older version of Windows for a while was not such a big deal. But I’m concerned that they’re not going to support for as long as they used to for a couple of reasons. One is that they’re making more frequent updates. 8.2 is apparently already on the horizon and they’ve made comments that imply they want to move to a yearly update schedule. At some point, there will just be too many different versions out there and too many different combinations to try and support. The oldest will fall off the table and at some point, that will be Windows 8.
I think they learned a really hard lesson with Windows XP, that being nice and supporting something longer than they really had to can actually backfire. I’m not expecting them to be that generous in the future. And in comparison, Mac and Linux operating systems are not supported for nearly as long a time as Windows XP was. And I wouldn’t expect lengthy support times for 8, particularly since 8.1 and 8.2 are coming so quickly on its heels.
So, if you stick with just plain old 8, at some point you’re going to stop getting critical security updates and other updates and other updates that you probably want. Not to mention that you’ll probably run into applications that will someday require Windows 8.1 or 8.2 or better. Not today, not next year, but someday. I expect it.
Here’s what I would do with what you have in front of you today. I would back up everything. I would do a complete image backup of the machine that you have that’s working today. Worse case scenario: you go back to this and I’d have you to stick with Windows 8. You really wouldn’t have a choice.
However, I really want to further explore the ability to update to 8.1. So, I would have you then install Windows 8 from scratch. Before doing anything else, immediately update it to Windows 8.1. Upgrading immediately removes the potential for some other software that you might have had on the machine interfering with the 8.1 upgrade.
If that still fails, there are only two things in front of you: your Asus machine and Windows. I hate to say it but you’re going to have to take the specifics of how it fails and go back to the manufacturer for help; because honestly I believe an upgrade that simple should work on a machine that was purchased just late last year.