Microsoft stops sales of Windows 7 Professional to OEMs

After extending deadline by two years, Microsoft puts a fork in the world's most popular operating system

Microsoft today quietly put an end to sales of Windows 7 licenses to computer makers, marking a major milestone for the seven-year-old OS.

According to Microsoft's rules, the Redmond, Wash. company stopped selling Windows 7 Professional or any version of Windows 8.1 to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) as of Oct. 31.

The end of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 left only Windows 10 as a long-term choice for OEMs that pre-load Windows on their wares.

The original end-of-sales deadline for Windows 7 Professional was to be Oct. 31, 2014 -- two years after the launch of Windows 8 -- but early that year Microsoft broke with practice and only called for an end to consumer systems. It left open the cut-off for Windows 7 Professional, saying it would give a one-year warning before it demanded that OEMs stop selling PCs with that edition.

Microsoft issued that warning a year ago.

Organizations with enterprise licensing agreements and Software Assurance -- the annuity-like program that provides additional rights -- may continue to purchase new PCs, then downgrade the OS from the already-installed Windows 10 to Windows 7 if they want to keep using the older edition.

And new Windows 7 Professional PCs won't vanish immediately; OEMs will be allowed to use what licenses they have in stock.

For example, Dell's online store today still listed 17 different notebook configurations equipped with Windows 7 Professional. The same goes for smaller computer sellers, like Puget Systems, an Auburn, Wash. custom PC maker: Such shops can continue to build new Windows 7 Professional PCs until their supply of licenses dries up.

Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows 7 even though it remains the most popular operating system on the planet. Windows 7 has lost about a fifth of its user share since the mid-2015 launch of Windows 10, but according to U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications, it powered 48% of all personal computers in October, more than twice Windows 10's share.

Windows 7 support is to continue until January 2020, giving users just over three years to migrate to another operating system.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Windows 7

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?