Microsoft is staying true to a promise it delivered all the way back in April: Windows 8.1 users who have yet to install the Windows 8.1 Update released this spring won't be able to download today's Patch Tuesday updates--or any future Patch Tuesday updates--until they get around to upgrading their operating system.
The threat only applies to Windows 8.1 users. If you're still on Windows 8, 7, or Vista, you should continue receiving patches normally. You can see whether you're running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 by opening the Charms bar, heading to PC Settings > PC and devices > PC info, and looking under the "Windows" section.
If you're on a Windows 8.1 system without the Spring Update, your computer won't automatically download today's patches via Windows Update. Furthermore, if you've altered your system settings to manually select which patches to install, you won't even see today's patches in Windows Update, a Microsoft spokesperson tells CNET. Don't try to get clever, either: Trying to install the updates manually will result in a failed installation.
Microsoft postponed this deadline once, as the Windows 8.1 support end date was originally supposed to die out in May.
Most Windows users should have received the Windows 8.1 Update when it was released in April, assuming you haven't changed the default option to install Windows updates automatically. And if you chose not to install the update, well, what are you waiting for? The Spring Update makes Microsoft's Metro vision truly PC-friendly for the first time, by dynamically adjusting its interface and behavior to let a PC be a PC and a tablet be a tablet. Plug in a mouse and you'll get a desktop-focused experience; touchscreen users will stick to Windows 8.1's usual finger-friendly design.
It's great. And if that carrot doesn't sway you to install the Windows 8.1 Spring Update, the "No more updates" stick certainly should.