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Microsoft No Longer Selling Windows 7 to Retailers

By - Source: Computerworld | B 111 comments

Microsoft stopped selling Windows 7 to retailer at the end of October.

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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Top Comments
  • 31 Hide
    p05esto , December 7, 2013 9:50 AM
    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.
  • 14 Hide
    rolli59 , December 7, 2013 9:04 AM
    Well happens every upgrade cycle, their goal is to sell their new product!
  • 10 Hide
    InvalidError , December 7, 2013 10:05 AM
    Quote:
    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.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    rolli59 , December 7, 2013 9:04 AM
    Well happens every upgrade cycle, their goal is to sell their new product!
  • 5 Hide
    makaveli316 , December 7, 2013 9:07 AM
    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.
  • 2 Hide
    lp231 , December 7, 2013 9:25 AM
    You can probably still get it online, so no big deal.
  • 2 Hide
    InvalidError , December 7, 2013 9:46 AM
    Quote:
    You can probably still get it online, so no big deal.

    Microsoft saying that they are "no longer selling" simply means that they have stopped taking new orders, stamping out new install DVDs and ordering packaging a while ago and are fulfilling their remaining orders from inventory. The product itself will remain available until all existing inventory from Microsoft, distributors and retailers dries out.

    It isn't "end of sales" as in pull every remaining unsold copy off the shelves and warehouses, toss them in a heap and burn them.
  • 31 Hide
    p05esto , December 7, 2013 9:50 AM
    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.
  • 5 Hide
    JD88 , December 7, 2013 9:57 AM
    Quote:
    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.


    Check out Linux. Ubuntu or Mint are both excellent choices. The best part is, they're free.
  • 10 Hide
    InvalidError , December 7, 2013 10:05 AM
    Quote:
    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.
  • -3 Hide
    lp231 , December 7, 2013 10:09 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    You can probably still get it online, so no big deal.

    Microsoft saying that they are "no longer selling" simply means that they have stopped taking new orders, stamping out new install DVDs and ordering packaging a while ago and are fulfilling their remaining orders from inventory. The product itself will remain available until all existing inventory from Microsoft, distributors and retailers dries out.

    It isn't "end of sales" as in pull every remaining unsold copy off the shelves and warehouses, toss them in a heap and burn them.


    I know that. All I'm saying is if someone goes to a retail shop and they don't have it, they can always order it online. This has nothing to do with every store just takes all copies of Win7, throw it in the bin and burn it.


  • 6 Hide
    10tacle , December 7, 2013 10:25 AM
    I've been holding off on buying a 3-user Windows 7 OEM bundle for my spare laptop and older home-built gaming PCs laying around using either Vista (patched up it's not that bad, just a memory pig) or XP. This story just motivated me to pull the trigger.
  • 9 Hide
    Alsone , December 7, 2013 10:33 AM
    It will just push people off Windows when 7 is no longer available.

    Many people just don;t want Windows 8 or its tiles and although the start button has been re-instated its only partial. I can't ever see myself installing Windows again until the full Start Button, Desktop, Video Desktop etc are all re-instated. Quite happy with Win 7 for ever and when its not available then it will be Mac time if no acceptable version of Windows is made. I've never known so many people going over to Macs.
  • -2 Hide
    ojas , December 7, 2013 10:39 AM
    Lol it'll still be sold till retailers run out of stock.
  • 2 Hide
    bluestar2k11 , December 7, 2013 10:40 AM
    I'm not saying to or that i support this, but I'm curious how the end of 7 production is going to effect ripped copies when retailer supply runs out. I'm curious how it effected XP for that matter.

    Supply and demand usually means if a product is in demand and supply is cut, people will find other sources to obtain the demanded item. Granted, this could take a year or two to feel in the markets depending on current supplies already produced.

    But i'd be curious to see the data.
  • 2 Hide
    Bdad , December 7, 2013 10:58 AM
    Can't stand Windows 8. Running Start8 app on one box to make it usable.
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , December 7, 2013 11:05 AM
    I'm pretty sure it's just serial numbers and holo stickers (if those even exist) there is no real 'stock.' So OEMs can have quite a large supply on hand.
  • 3 Hide
    MidnightDistort , December 7, 2013 11:09 AM
    I am sure this article is mainly directed towards those still running XP and not wanting Windows 8. I am even now pushing those still running XP to get W7 machines if they want to avoid W8's plundering nonsense. I might even get myself an OEM copy to put on a new desktop as my current one wants to bite the dust and i figured it won't hurt, but that's only if i have enough money for it. I still plan on getting a newer desktop/laptop for my media needs but for now i am just seeing how many XP users are now willing to pay to keep W7 in the game versus W8.

    And i do know that yes while you can get W8 to function and look like W7 but i am holding out on that because of the way MS is dealing with the feedback (or the lack of demands from consumers). A start button is not what people want, it's whats in the button they want, which is the start menu. And the start menu vs the start screen is pointless because i know that many want the start menu to begin with and really should have been an option between the two from MS themselves.

    W7 share has been steadily increasing within the last few months and i'm sure that after reading this article, that share will increase greatly within the next year. Again though i am sure that this article is directed towards XP users, there are still many still on it and they would be doing themselves a favor to just buying a new machine with W7 or W8 so they are not stranded. You don't have to spend a lot on it and it's there in case XP runs into trouble after MS stops updating it. When W7 is finished that's when i will be moving towards Linux as my primary OS and that is especially if MS doesn't release an OS that is likeable. Windows 8 is not likeable, but by the time they release W9 or W10 i will probably be using W8 only if W7 doesn't work and the same with Linux but as i said Linux will be my main OS while i will be using XP/W7 for my backup when support is no longer there. I will be encouraging others to do the same.
  • -9 Hide
    therealduckofdeath , December 7, 2013 11:32 AM
    It just amazes me to see the blogosphere constantly whining about first world problems.

    Yes, the start screen looks different. Big deal. The system works much better with Windows 8, you get a lot better overview of what's actually going on under the hood without having to be a registry hacker. All those parts are pretty easily explained and managed with Windows 8.

    Though, looking at the arguments her, I guess, most people complaining really have no interest in Windows, period. They're just here to try to create a storm in a glass of water.
  • -5 Hide
    jdwii , December 7, 2013 11:47 AM
    Windows 8

    https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR1yDsyt3Yq4ggxShR8ka_nJmhK15nxG8coIar5VHeGDf_tKxrC
  • 5 Hide
    rokit , December 7, 2013 11:49 AM
    The Empire Strikes Back, MS' last stand. They're finished. Majority of 3D studios are primary on Linux for years, majority of banks are on Linux, people at home are so disappointed with MS at the moment that they atleast try Linux and for them the biggest show stopper is lack of modern AAA games and thus they dual boot.
    I personally know few admins that have alot of XP machines. Slowly they moved servers to Linux, and some Windows server on VM because of the few programs written on order long ago and doesn't work on any other Windows or WINE.
    So XP is still used by many relatively small companies. Companies like these were the reason MS prolonged XP updates. So people are power, we're making the choice not company. If company does something bad show your point of view by not adding money to their business.
  • -3 Hide
    Wamphryi , December 7, 2013 11:52 AM
    I am glad that I can think for myself and ignore the mainstream consensus when necessary. Win 8.1 is the best I have dealt with for getting around the OS. The right click function on the start menu easily beats all previous OS functionality. I see the tile interface exactly once a day. I have at least 6 Win 7 licenses that are not in use. Win 8.1 is faster when dealing with some applications as well. I will never go back and most people who have an open mind and 10 minutes to configure their OS wont either.
  • 0 Hide
    RealBeast , December 7, 2013 12:01 PM
    It does not matter at all if users here like or don't like Windows 8, the folks here are far more sophisticated than the average user -- there are many out there that want Windows 7. It's gotten enough press that it has become a question for many novice users to the point that they will go elsewhere.

    I will try to push new build users with some skill level into Linux if it does what they need. The rest will have to choose Windows 8 or a MAC. I see this biting MS unless they fix the remaining issues with 8 (at least perceived issues by many out there).

    Not personally concerned, I've managed to move OS to OS since DOS and still run most of the old OSs in VMWare WS where needed.
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