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Microsoft Windows 7 Pro Sales Ending October 2016Microsoft Windows 7 Pro Sales Ending October 2016

Microsoft is telling computer manufacturers to stop building new Windows 7 PCs by Oct. 31, 2016.

Kelly Sheridan

November 3, 2015

2 Min Read
<p align="left">(Image: Microsoft)</p>

Microsoft Store: First Look Inside NYC Flagship

Microsoft Store: First Look Inside NYC Flagship

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A new update to Microsoft's Windows lifecycle fact sheet indicates the official end of sales for PCs running Windows 7 Professional is Oct. 31, 2016.

After this date, computer manufacturers will stop pre-installing Windows 7 Professional on PCs. Customers will only be able to purchase new Windows 7 PCs if they are part of existing stock.

The end-of-sales date for consumer PCs running Windows 7 arrived at the end of October 2014. Microsoft traditionally terminates sales for older iterations of Windows two years following the launch of the newest version.

[Inside the latest PC, Mobile previews for Windows 10.]

Windows 8 launched Oct. 26, 2012, so the end of sales for Windows 7 Professional should have also been in late October 2014. However, businesses did not welcome Windows 8 or Windows 8.1; most decided to continue running Windows 7 Pro.

As a result, the end-of-sales deadline for Windows 7 Professional was postponed. Microsoft reported it would give a one-year warning before telling manufacturers to stop pre-installing the OS.

Now, Redmond has officially given manufacturers the heads-up: Windows 7 Professional's days are numbered.

Certain businesses can find a way around the deadline. After Oct. 31, 2016, organizations participating in the Volume Licensing program may leverage Software Assurance or downgrade rights to switch from Windows 10 to Windows 7 on new PCs.

Windows 7 Professional users should know the OS support timeline has not changed. Microsoft terminated mainstream support for Windows 7 in January 2015, effectively ending the benefits of free incident support, warranty claims, design changes, feature requests, and significant future updates.

As part of its January announcement the company also promised to continue delivering free security updates for Windows 7 PCs via extended support. Devices running the OS will continue to receive notifications and security fixes via extended support through the deadline of January 14, 2020.

The end-of-sale date for new PCs with Windows 8.1 pre-installed will also fall on Oct. 31, 2016. Microsoft will terminate sales for new Windows 8 PCs even earlier -- on June 30, 2016.

Microsoft's decision to confirm an end-of-sales date for Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 demonstrates its belief in the continued growth of Windows 10. As of early October 2015, the new OS had been downloaded on 8 million business PCs and 110 million total devices.

About the Author(s)

Kelly Sheridan

Staff Editor, Dark Reading

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial services. Sheridan earned her BA in English at Villanova University. You can follow her on Twitter @kellymsheridan.

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