Microsoft has decided to halt sales of devices with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 pre-installed. The change will take place November next year, so reluctant consumers will have one year to get a new device if they want to avoid Windows 10.
The change by Microsoft was first spotted by ZDNet. The company updated their “Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet” in late October to reflect that 31 October 2016 will be the last day that Microsoft sells Windows 7 and 8.1 to OEMs. These OEM companies will have one year to do so and after that, consumers will have no choice but to purchase devices that come with Windows 10 preinstalled. Except for businesses, their license agreements allow them to choose which version of Windows they would like.
Usually, Microsoft sets their end-of-sales date for each version of Windows two years after the release of a new version. That means the end-of-sales date for Windows 7 should have been in October 2014, two years after Windows 8 was launched. Windows 7 was kept alive longer than intended because many users had a hard time accepting the Metro-themed Windows 8.
From here, consumers can either update their PCs to Windows 10 or stay on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Those who are still on Windows 7 and 8.1 need not worry, extended technical support will still be provided until 14 January 2020 for Windows 7, and 10 January 2023 for Windows 8.1.
Do note that Windows 10 is a free upgrade to any devices running on a genuine copy of Windows 7 and 8.1. However, by November 2016, the free upgrade offer would have ended. Microsoft has been aggresively pushing Windows 10 to consumers as an optional upgrade. This is probably to achieve the company’s target of having Windows 10 power one billion devices. Those who still prefer Windows 7 and 8.1, and are in the market for a new device have one year to make the purchase.