Riddle us this - what do Windows XP and Windows 8.1 have in common? They're both in Microsoft's
rear view mirror, and come May 13, 2014, the latter will also no longer receive security updates
. Scratching your head? Here's the thing -- Microsoft isn't abandoning its newest operating system, but it is forcing users to apply the latest update in order to keep receiving security patches.
"Since Microsoft wants to ensure that customers benefit from the best support and servicing experience and to coordinate and simplify servicing across both Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 RT and Windows 8.1, this update will be considered a new servicing/support baseline," Microsoft explains in a blog post. "What this means is those users who have elected to install updates manually will have 30 days to install Windows 8.1 Update on Windows 8.1 devices; after this 30-day window - and beginning with the May Patch Tuesday, Windows 8.1 user's devices without the update installed will no longer receive security updates."
There's nothing nefarious going on here, and though this requirement will prove an inconvenience for some -- namely, those who manually install updates at their leisure -- this is standard practice for Microsoft. The only thing that's different this time around is that Microsoft is calling these OS upgrades "Updates" instead of "Service Packs."
Where Microsoft deserves a bit of criticism here is in its timing. For one, companies are scrambling to restore order after Heartbleed was discovered. Secondly, some users are having trouble installing the latest update. It's an issue that Microsoft acknowledges and is working on, but for those who can't install the newest build, this announcement only adds insult to injury.