Microsoft no longer sales Windows 7/8.1 to PC makers

It's time to let go and let the new replace the old.

Windows 7 logo with green background

Microsoft stops the sale of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 licensing to PC manufacturers as of October 31, 2016. Some retailers will continue to sale any remaining stock, but moving forward the device makers will offer Windows 10 as the only choice.

This news shouldn’t come to anyone as a surprise as Microsoft has already stopped offering different editions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to manufacturers about two years ago.

In the lifecycle chart, you can see October 31th as the end of sale for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1.

Client operating systems and updatesDate of general availabilityRetail software end of sales*End of sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled
Windows XP December 31, 2001 June 30, 2008 October 22, 2010
Windows Vista January 30, 2007 October 22, 2010 October 22, 2011
Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate October 22, 2009 October 31, 2013 October 31, 2014
Windows 7 Professional October 22, 2009 October 31, 2013 October 31, 2016
Windows 8 October 26, 2012 October 31, 2014 June 30, 2016
Windows 8.1 October 18, 2013 September 1, 2015 October 31, 2016
Windows 10July 29, 2015 N/AN/A
* Note that when the retail software product reaches its end of sales date, it can still be purchased through OEMs (the company that made your PC) until it reaches the end of sales date for PCs with Windows preinstalled.

Additionally, the mainstream support for Windows 7 has already ended back in 2015. Now the good, but old operating system is in the extended support cycle, which only offers security updates. However, Windows 8.x will continue to get full support until early 2018.

On the other hand, Windows 10 seems that will be supported until October 13, 2020. But it’s a unique situation for this operating system, as Microsoft is offering it “as a service,” which is totally different servicing approach with regular major feature updates at least twice a year, and not just patches.

Desktop operating systemsDate of availabilitySupport retired 
Windows XP SP1August 30, 2002 October 10, 2006
Windows XP SP2 September 17, 2004 July 13, 2010
Windows XP SP3 April 21, 2008 April 8, 2014
Windows Vista SP1 February 4, 2008 July 12, 2011
Windows Vista SP2 May 26, 2009 Available now
Windows 7 SP1 February 22, 2011Available now
Windows 8.1 October 18, 2013 Available now
Windows 10, released in July 2015 N/A N/A

Up until now, Windows 10 has received two major updates, including the November Update and the Anniversary Update. A third update is also in the works, which we know as “Windows 10 Creators Update”, and Microsoft plans to bring 3D, mixed reality, and a handful of other features.

The bottom line is that Windows 7 was a great operating system, and Windows 8 introduced many new technologies, but Windows 10 has a lot to offer and it’s the future of Windows.

Source Microsoft via VentureBeat

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].