Microsoft No Longer Selling Windows 7 to Retailers

Consumers looking to install Windows 7 on their current computers are now out of luck, as Microsoft has quietly discontinued the sale of the operating system as of October 30, 2013. The end of sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled will be on October 30, 2014, meaning you have less than a year to snatch up a desktop or laptop with Windows 7 preinstalled.

"End of sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)," states Microsoft's lifecycle chart. "Examples of OEMs are Dell and Toshiba—PC manufacturers who often preinstall Windows software. When a version of Windows reaches its end of sales date, it's a good time to think about upgrading."

Computerworld points out that Microsoft's end-of-retail-sales date is a meaningless deadline, as many online retailers will continue to sell the software long after Microsoft pulls the plug. Although Microsoft itself has pulled Windows 7 from its virtual shelves, Amazon remains stocked full of various versions of Windows 7, as does tech specialist Newegg. Even some of Newegg's partners still carry Windows Vista and the current thorn in Microsoft's side, Windows XP.

"When Microsoft launches a new version of Windows, we will continue to allow OEMs to sell PCs preinstalled with the previous version for up to two years after the launch date of the new version," states Microsoft's lifecycle chart. "Certain OEM versions of Windows products include downgrade rights. Downgrade rights make it possible to use a previous version of Windows instead of the licensed software preinstalled on a new PC."

According to the chart, Windows XP exited the retail space on June 30, 2008, and was no longer licensed to OEMs on October 22, 2010. Windows Vista was discontinued in stores on October 22, 2010, and no longer sold to OEMs on October 22, 2011. Windows 8 won't be sold in stores beginning October 31, 2014, replaced by the current Windows 8.1, which launched on October 18, 2013.

The discontinuation of Windows 7 at retail feels like the end of an era. Like Windows XP, Microsoft may have a hard time shaking customers off the Windows 7 platform, as it has remained a solid, dependable platform since its introduction back in October 2009. Many Windows XP users feel the same way about their old operating system despite Microsoft putting pressure on them to upgrade. Eventually, Microsoft may have to do the same with Windows 7 users.

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  • p05esto
    I just bought 3 licenses of Windows 7 for some new computers and one older one. I have Win8 on a laptop and it's the biggest pile of steaming crap I have ever laid hands on. It's impossible to find advanced functions, there's no logical navigation around the OS, the missing start menu is insane, the two interfaces with Metro and Desktop is enough to make me try and Apple product (and I freaking hate Apple). Seriously MS needs to get their shit together, 8.1 is JUST as sucky, I saw no improvement in the things I hate about Win8. My patience is diminishing with MS.
    32
  • rolli59
    Well happens every upgrade cycle, their goal is to sell their new product!
    14
  • InvalidError
    Anonymous said:
    I have Win8 on a laptop and it's the biggest pile of steaming crap I have ever laid hands on. It's impossible to find advanced functions, there's no logical navigation around the OS, the missing start menu is insane

    The start menu problem can be fixed for free with Classic Shell Start Menu.

    I agree for the computer management and other more geeky features; they really seem to be piling up messes upon messes there. The most frustrating such example is networking: in XP and Vista, just about all networking configurations could be handled from the network management page. With Win8, that page has become almost useless since you cannot create or properly edit connections from it, activating interfaces sends you to the charms interface and creation has to be started from the control panel... so network management that used to be all in one place has been split into at least three scattered components with incoherent presentations.

    Back in the days of 3.xx/95/98/2000/XP, people used to praise Microsoft for how uniform presentation was between their applications and across the OS. Seems like they have been going in the exact opposite direction for most of the past decade.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • rolli59
    Well happens every upgrade cycle, their goal is to sell their new product!
    14
  • makaveli316
    That's clever from Microsoft. The normal user doesn't care/know what system he gets. I doubt anyone who buys pre-configured pcs even know how to install an operating system. There are plenty of ways to get Windows 7 if you want it, just don't buy those overpriced OEM pcs.
    6
  • lp231
    You can probably still get it online, so no big deal.
    2