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 updates||Date of general availability||Retail 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 10||July 29, 2015||N/A||N/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 systems||Date of availability||Support retired|
|Windows XP SP1||August 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, 2011||Available 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.