For Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 this is the end. The final curtain. The fat lady is singing.
Fulfilling the long term promise on its Windows lifecycle page, Microsoft MSFT -0.83% has confirmed ‘End of sales’ for both the most popular operating system ever made and perhaps the most disliked (however unfairly) operating system in the world.
Defining this Microsoft explains: “End of sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Examples of OEMS are Dell and Toshiba—PC manufacturers who often pre-install Windows software.”
The crucial point here is OEMs were the last official way to still get copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 because Microsoft already stopped retail sales to consumers two years ago. Consequently every new Windows PC will come with Windows 10 and users will no longer have ‘downgrade rights’ to attain it with a previous edition.
Consequently if you still want a brand new PC with either Windows 7 or Windows 8 then move fast because all OEMs can now do is sell off their existing stock – and that won’t last long. After which you’ll be left trawling eBay and private listings in the hope of buying a genuine copy. Good luck with that.
Launching in 2009, Windows 7 was on sale a remarkable seven years while Windows 8/8.1 lasted just four years. A likely reflection of how differently they will be remembered.
Despite ongoing updates support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 until January 2020 and 2023, the end of sales is likely to give the flatlining Windows 10 a boost. Growth of the controversial operating system has been virtually stagnant since Microsoft’s free upgrade offer ended but now – and with Christmas approaching – this should speed up its current crawl towards 25% market share.
In fairness with Microsoft doing its best to turn Windows 7 and Windows 8 into Windows 10 in recent months (despite upgrade concerns) and Apple alienating fans with pricey new MacBook Pros, the slump in the personal computer market shows no sign of ending soon…