Windows 8 has been out for over a year, but it took until today for Microsoft to stop selling retail copies of its previous operating system, Windows 7.
Earlier today, Microsoft posted a notice on its website announcing an end to retail sales of Windows 7 licenses. That means it will no longer ship licenses to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs – Microsoft’s hardware manufacturing partners), nor will it sell boxed copies of Windows 7 to retailers.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to buy PCs with Windows 7 in 2014. Microsoft will no longer sell new licenses, but manufacturers can continue selling PCs with Windows 7 until the “End of sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled” date, which is October 30, 2014.
So here’s what this means for you:
-You can no longer order a boxed copy of Windows 7 or a license from Microsoft
-You can still order a boxed copy of Windows 7 and a license from retailers until supplies last
-You can order a new PC with Windows 7 installed until October 30, 2014, after which point Microsoft forbids retailers from selling
-After October 30, 2014, all new Windows PCs will come with Windows 8
As hard as Microsoft might try to make Windows 8 successful, I think Windows 7 will remain a standard for a long time into the future. Personally, I’m going to wait and see what Microsoft has up its sleeve for Windows 9 before I even think about upgrading. Because let’s face it, Microsoft’s last few operating systems have followed a strict good/bad cycle: