Now that Redmond’s two modern operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, are occupying store shelves on the market, the software titan is ready to redefine its retail strategy.
Microsoft is now no longer selling Windows 7 to retailers — in fact, the company did so without a formal announcement on October 30. This is an important milestone in convincing users to choose its modern platforms, though the old operating system is still available to OEMs.
The company posted an explanation of the end of retail sales on its website:
“End of sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Examples of OEMS are Dell and Toshiba—PC manufacturers who often preinstall Windows software. When a version of Windows reaches its end of sales date, it’s a good time to think about upgrading.”
Having said that, while OEMs will continue to offer the option of Windows 7 on their PCs, they will also stop selling preinstalled copies of Windows 7 on new devices one year from now, October 30, 2014:
“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.”
That is not say Windows 7 is not available online and at retailers right now. But since Microsoft no longer sells new licenses of operating system, any physical boxed copies you find will be what these retailers still have in stock.
Once they are gone, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 will remain as only choices.