Microsoft’s touch-screen friendly operating system, Windows 8, has now been available for two years, since October 26, 2012.
All this time, you’ve still been able to buy a new computer with Windows 7 instead.
That’s going to mostly end soon. October 31 is the last day that PC makers can buy licenses of consumer versions of Windows 7 for new PCs. Stores and websites are free to sell the Windows 7 PCs they have in stock after that date, reports ZDNet’s Mary Joe Foley, but once that supply is gone, new Windows 7 PCs aimed at consumers should be basically over.
October 31 is also the last day Microsoft will sell copies of consumer Windows 7 to install on new PCs. There is an exception, Windows 7 Professional, the version that is geared toward businesses. Although retailers won’t be able to sell it after October 31, Microsoft hasn’t given a cut-off date for PCs preloaded with this version.
Dell is taking advantage of the close-out of some versions of Windows 7. When we visited Dell’s website today we were greeted by a promotion of “Windows 7 for the win.”
There was no similar big promotion celebrating Windows 8’s two-year anniversary.
That said, if you miss the October 31 deadline and still want to buy a new Windows PC, the current version is Windows 8.1 and it has fixed many of the problems that users had originally complained about. It even lets you boot directly to a “desktop mode” that looks like Windows 7.
And if that still doesn’t work for you, Microsoft’s next version of Windows, Windows 10, will be an even bigger throwback toward older, more popular versions of Windows, from what we’ve seen of it so far. By the way, there will be no Windows 9.
Windows 10 is scheduled to launch mid-2015.
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