Microsoft extends Windows 7 Pro OEM preinstalls to satisfy business buyers

Windows 7 logoWindows 7 Professional will be available as an OEM preinstall until at least February 14, 2015, according to the latest version of Microsoft's Windows lifecycle table.

In December last year, Microsoft briefly claimed that it would end Windows 7 OEM sales at the end of October 2014. This date was then removed, with the company claiming that it was published in error.

The cut-off for the consumer versions of Windows 7—Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate—has been reinstated. Those versions will still stop being available as OEM preinstalls on October 31, 2014. But for the corporate-oriented Professional SKU, there's now no firm date for when those OEM sales will end. Instead, there's a footnote, saying that the company will give at least one year of notice before any cut-off date is actually set.

That the extension is only for the Professional version makes it clear that this is a move intended to appease or reassure corporate customers. Many corporations are still in the process of migrating to Windows 7, and the loss of preinstalled copies could interrupt those migrations.

This change in availability should not provoke any change in Windows 7's support policy. The operating system will end mainstream support (which is to say, non-security bug fixes, extra features, and warranty claims) on January 13, 2015. It will be in extended support (security fixes and paid support) until January 10, 2020.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Microsoft, OSes, Windows 7

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