Microsoft is pulling the plug on the preview build of Windows 8.1
Softpedia points out that Microsoft has discontinued supporting Windows 8.1 Preview, meaning those still running the beta will need to revert their system back to the way it was before, and upgrade to the Windows 8.1 retail release.
Windows 8.1 Preview was originally launched in June 2013 at the BUILD developer conference, allowing Microsoft to get feedback on features and bugs before the official release. Windows 8.1 was made available to Windows 8 customers on October 2013 as a free upgrade.
“Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview are prerelease versions of Windows 8.1 and are scheduled to expire soon,” reads this forum entry from Microsoft. “Therefore, the Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview communities are scheduled to retire on 14 January 2014.”
Once the communities retire, the Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview versions will be removed from all forum dropdowns. Users will not be able to create new threads, all threads will become locked (read-only), and hidden from search engine indexes. Threads users participated in will be archived to their profile.
For those still running the preview, they reportedly won’t be able to update to the full-blown Windows 8.1 without losing apps and settings. The best bet is to perform a clean install to get the most out of what Windows 8.1 brings to the desktop or laptop.