SOFTWARE CHURN MERCHANT Microsoft has announced when it plans to stop selling most versions of Windows 7.
The Windows 7 PC operating system that remains prevalent on nearly 50 percent of Windows computers has already been withdrawn from retail sales as of the end of October 2013, and today Microsoft updated its Windows 7 life cycle webpage to show that OEMs will no longer be able to ship computers with Windows 7 preinstalled from 31 October 2014 .
The news applies only to domestic versions of Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate, not including the Professional Edition, with Service Packs installed. Support has already ceased for all versions of Windows 7 without Service Packs .
The stay of execution for the Windows 7 Professional Edition is a reflection of the number of businesses that continue to refuse to migrate to Windows 8.x. In a declining home PC market, Microsoft can't afford to alienate enterprise customers.
At present, Microsoft offers only assurance of at least one year notice before withdrawing its PC operating systems from the market, though we know from the soon to expire Windows XP that this is often the minimum and that security updates will probably continue for years.
This announcement does not affect the support cycle for Windows 7 software products, with the projected end of extended support still on the horizon at January 2020.
The next significant date for Windows users is the end of life deadline for Windows XP, which is set for 8 April 2014, with Windows Vista support set to continue for the few still using it until 2017. µ