This week, reports from a number of media outlets stated that Microsoft had quietly ended retail sales of Windows 7, and that sales of PCs with Windows 7 installed would end next year. However, since those reports have been posted, the Microsoft web page cited as the main source of those stories has been updated, and throws the current retail sales life of Windows 7 into unknown territory.
Originally, the Windows lifecycle fact sheet page showed that Windows 7 retail sales ended on October 30th, and that sales of PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed would end on October 30, 2014. Both ZDNet andComputerworld reported on this fact, based on information from that page. Indeed, a cached version of the fact sheet shows that those reports were correct at the time.
However, since those stories were posted, Microsoft has quietly changed the Windows lifecycle page. The deadlines for both retail sales and the sales of Windows 7 PCs are now listed as “To be determined.” In other words, Microsoft currently has no set date when retail stores and OEMs can stop selling the OS. We have emailed Microsoft to see if they wish to comment on why they have changed the dates.
One possible reason is that Windows 7 is still highly popular, according to the latest information from Net Applications, and many businesses may still opt to upgrade to it from Windows XP; Microsoft will end support for the 12 year old OS four months from today on April 8th, 2014.