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 (opens in new tab). "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.
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.
Check out Linux. Ubuntu or Mint are both excellent choices. The best part is, they're free.
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.
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.
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.