If you are thinking about getting a new PC bundled with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then here is something that you should definitely know about. Microsoft has quietly updated its Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet page, stating that Oct. 31, 2016 is the last date until which retailers or OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) can sell Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 pre-installed. This means that if you are thinking about buying a PC that comes with Windows 7 or 8.1 PC pre-installed, then you’ve got less than a year to get it.
End is near for Windows 7 & 8.1
This change was first spotted by ZDNet on Microsoft’s website. This means that after this date, consumers will be able to buy PCs with Windows 10 pre-installed but not with Windows 7 or 8.1. The only exception here is businesses with license agreements that want an older version of Windows pre-installed.
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Normally, Microsoft sets the end-of-sales date two years after the launch of the version of Windows that succeeds it. As per this policy, Microsoft should have already ended the sales of PCs bundled with Windows 7 in October 2014, which is two years after the launch of Windows 8. However, since the response to Windows 8 was not that great, Microsoft decided to continue selling PCs with Windows 7 Pro installed.
Microsoft with this new move may be thinking that perhaps businesses and consumers will migrate to Windows 10 from their older Windows 7 or 8.1 OS. This step is in line with its goal to have Windows 10 running on 1 billion devices within the next 2-3 years. The company is also aiming to tie different devices together — PCs, tablets and smartphones — all running on Windows 10.
The good news is that if you are already running on Windows 7, then you need not to worry as Microsoft will provide technical support until January 14, 2020, whereby you will get bug fixes, security patches and other important updates. For Windows 8.1, technical support is available until January 10, 2023.