This week marks another important milestone for Windows 7, which continues to be Microsoft’s number one operating system, as the Redmond-based software giant is ending sales of PCs running it on October 31.
After Friday, the company will no longer provide partners, OEMs, and manufacturers with Windows 7 licenses to install them on new PCs, so all companies would instead have to switch to a newer operating system for their computers.
October 31 is the end of sales for PCs running Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Ultimate, but Windows 7 Professional will continue to be available for OEMs.
At this point, Windows 7 Professional still doesn’t have a deadline for end of retail sales, but Microsoft is very likely to announce one soon, as it hopes to put its modern operating systems in the spotlight.
Even though existing inventories with PCs running one of the aforementioned Windows 7 versions will no longer be replenished after Friday, this decision does not affect the support offered for the world’s number one desktop operating system.
Mainstream support for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 will continue to be offered until January 13, 2015, while extended support is guaranteed until January 14, 2020.
Obviously, Microsoft expects most partners and companies selling new PCs to switch to Windows 8 and 8.1, the modern operating systems that are already up for grabs right now.
At this point, statistics show that Windows 7 is still installed on more than 50 percent of the world’s computers, while Windows XP is second with around 23 percent. Windows 8 and 8.1 are far behind with a combined share of 16 percent.
Windows 7 PCs won’t disappear completely on Friday, that’s for sure, as manufacturers and OEMs are allowed to clear out inventories entirely.
At this point, Windows 7 continues to be the number one choice for users worldwide, especially when using a mouse and keyboard for their PCs. Windows 8 can be downgraded to Windows 7, but many prefer to purchase the latter from the very beginning mostly thanks to the familiar working environment that includes a Start menu for the desktop and other features.
Microsoft hopes that by pushing OEMs and manufacturers to new Windows versions, it would also boost adoption of modern platforms, but up until now, sales of new computers running Windows 8 have been below expectations.