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As of January 12, 2016, Microsoft has ended support for Windows 8 (not Windows 8.1). Not many people use the plain old 8 version of the operating system, since it was followed up by a free upgrade to Windows 8.1 just a year after Windows 8 came out.
It's important to use a supported version of Windows so you can receive software and security updates that protect your systems and your data from viruses, spyware, and other threats.
Windows 8.1 is still supported by Microsoft with extended support through 2023, so for most nonprofits, making the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 is an easy solution. Or, you can upgrade all the way to Windows 10 for free, if your systems support it.
If you requested a Windows 8 upgrade through TechSoup, you should have access to Windows 8.1 in the Microsoft VLSC through Software Assurance and can simply download the upgrade there.
If you didn't get Windows 8 through TechSoup, you can follow Microsoft's instructions for upgrading to Windows 8.1.
If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 (which is free until July 29, 2016) and your systems can support it, see our blog post on getting Windows 10 for your organization.
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.