Microsoft’s sales of Windows 7 and 8.1 licenses to OEMs has ended

Laurent Giret

Windows 7 Wallpaper

Just a few months after Microsoft celebrated the first anniversary of its latest operating system with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the company has finally stopped selling Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 licenses to PC OEMs as of yesterday, October 31 (via VentureBeat). While some retailers may still have stock of these old machines, Windows 10 has now become the only way to go for PC manufacturers.

As a reminder, Microsoft already stopped selling Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 licenses to consumers back in October 2013 and September 2015, respectively:

Microsoft's Windows lifecycle fact sheet.
Microsoft’s Windows lifecycle fact sheet.

For consumers, this doesn’t change much as Windows 10 has been adopted pretty quickly by most PC OEMs since its initial release in July 2015. Actually, PC OEMs had good incentives to do so as old versions of Windows have limited support when running on newer processors and chipsets from Intel, AMD, NVidia and more. For the most part, PC OEMs seem to be happy with the versatility of Windows 10, with Dell sharing earlier this year that Windows 10 2-in-1 devices were the future of computing.

If you’re still running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on your PC though, you should be aware that mainstream support for the former already ended in on January 13, 2015. Now in Extended Support, Windows 7 is only receiving security updates and will continue to do so until January 14, 2020. For Windows 8.1 users, Mainstream support will end on January 9, 2018.

Microsoft's Windows lifecycle fact sheet, part 2.
Microsoft’s Windows lifecycle fact sheet, part 2.

According to Microsoft, there are already 400 million devices running Windows 10 in 192 countries across the world. As PC sales have been decreasing over the last few years, the company couldn’t have achieved this momentum without its year-long free upgrade offer to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs. However, the company did acknowledge earlier this year that it wouldn’t meet its ambitious goal to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10 by 2018.