It’s finally time to say farewell to sales of one of Microsoft’s most enduring operating systems. The company said it’s cutting the cord on sales of Windows 7 licenses. They’re also stopping sales of Windows 8.1 at the same time.
After October 31, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are no longer allowed to pre-load Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 on new systems and can only run out remaining stock. For PC consumers, this means Windows 10 is the only viable option left for purchase.
Windows 10 has been lauded for being a vast improvement over Windows 8 but it hasn’t come without some of its own kinks. Users were grateful to see the return of the Start Menu in Windows 10 and for the most part, people have welcomed the integrated Cortana search into their taskbar. But complaints ranging from slow boot times to wifi issues dampened Windows 10’s popularity among users. And adding to the bad press was Microsoft’s aggressive tactics getting users to upgrade from older OS’s to Windows 10.
Until July, Microsoft allowed users to upgrade for free. And thanks to that scheme, over 400 million devices now run the new desktop OS – the fastest adoption rate of any of Microsoft’s operating systems. Still, Windows 7 remains the most used OS even today. According to NetMarketShare, 48% of desktop users are still on Windows 7. Windows 10 comes in second at less than 23%. Interestingly, the much beloved Windows XP is still clinging onto life with 8% usage.
But if the halt on new license sales wasn’t enough to convince you to skip over to Windows 10 for your next desktop PC, take into consideration the later end-of-support date for Windows 10 compared to 7 and 8:
- Windows 7: January 14, 2020
- Windows 8: January 10, 2023
- Windows 10: October 14, 2025
The end of support date is important because it marks the endpoint for receiving automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. After this date, your PC is left to the winds for security vulnerabilities and malware. Slowly but surely, Microsoft is herding us all over to Windows 10 for our desktop PCs.