Microsoft has announced that, as of the end of October, it has ended distribution of all retail copies of Windows 7. In addition, sales of PCs with Windows 7 on them will end on an undetermined date. Mainstream support, or updates, fixes, and technical assistance, to the original version of Windows 7, is expected to end on January 13, 2015 and extended support (for the latest service pack release of Win7) will end on January 14, 2020.
A Microsoft spokesperson told TheNextWeb.com, “We have yet to determine the end of sales date for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled.”
There have been mixed results for Microsoft’s most recent version of Windows. Windows 8 was received with lukewarm reviews due to its drastically different user interface, which was optimized for touch screens, when compared to its predecessors XP, Vista, and Windows 7. After some kickback from the community, Microsoft released version 8.1 which came with features that appeal to more traditional PC users. 8.1 allows users to view the Start button once again, boot directly into desktop mode instead of the tile-based user interface, and provides better searching. PC power users argue that the new interface of Windows 8/8.1 is not geared towards better productivity, although some individuals have hailed the OS as an improvement as it is better adapted for devices with touch screens.
Microsoft is looking for ways that it can boost sales of Windows 8. Current numbers provided by NetMarketShare (last updated in November 2013) show that Windows 7 still holds the lion’s share of the Windows desktop OS sales at 46.64%. XP holds at second with 31.22%, Vista at 3.57%, and Windows 8 and 8.1 hold at 6.66% and 2.64%, respectively. Beyond Microsoft products are Mac OS X 10.9 at 2.42% and OS X 10.8 at 1.85%. Finally, 4.98% of the sales are represented by other operative systems, including Linux, FreeBSD, and older versions of Windows and Mac.
The source for the end dates is the Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet.