Did Microsoft just extend the retail sales life of Windows 7?

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 and Computerworld 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.

Source: Windows lifecycle page

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Hate to break it to you, but some people do. Oh, and Microsoft already has a non touchscreen OS. It's called Windows 7.

COKid said,
Hate to break it to you, but some people do. Oh, and Microsoft already has a non touchscreen OS. It's called Windows 7.

TBH I interact with W8.1 using Touch, keyboard n mouse and, my favourite, with a pen without issues. Do I love it? No, I do not but I prefer W8 than W7 because I use the desktop. Granted, if it was Metro only I would not be using it.

COKid said,
Hate to break it to you, but some people do. Oh, and Microsoft already has a non touchscreen OS. It's called Windows 7.

Technically, Windows 7 is also a touch screen OS. Vista was the first merger of the XP TabletPC and added alternative input models.

A lot of touchscreen all in one Windows 7 systems were sold before Windows 8 was ever publically demonstrated.

Windows 7 was a well designed Touch OS, supporting more 'touch' and other alternative input than any other OS. A few File Explorer settings changes and few UI scaling changes and it still works well as a desktop and touch OS.

As for Windows 8, it is the same OS with a Start Menu replacement and a new more modern framework.

WinRT was designed to eventually replace Win32, it was NOT designed to be a Touch Only framework. It does require developers to be mindful of alternative input modalities, but that just makes the Apps work for more users on more devices, it doesn't limit their functionality.

It is strange how quickly the world forgets and thinks that an OS or any technology has to be purist to THEIR vision of what it should be.

Side Notes...
This whole purist mindset, I find rather odd in the world of technology, as adding in additional features or functionality does not diminish or take away the others, especially with regard to the Windows architecture.

When Microsoft added WDDM or NUMA technologies to Vista/7, they didn't have to remove any other technologies, in fact XPDM wasn't removed until Windows 8, when it was no longer needed due to the CPU rendering DirectX features in Windows 8.

There is also a misconception with how Windows (NT) works, and people assume it is designed like other OSes that suffer from overhead when new functionality is added without removing the old functionality. This isn't how it works.

Windows 8 has more features and functionality than all the versions of Windows that came before it, yet it can run with less RAM than Windows 7, consume less CPU resources, get better high end/gaming performance and still and get better battery life.

Windows can continue to add in new features and layers and functionality and continue to become faster and more optimized at the same time.

As for the purists that don't want touch to work on THEIR OS, they need to stop for a minute and think what it costs them.

The answer is nothing, and even if Windows 8 didn't push for developers to be mindful of Touch input, WinRT would still exist, as it was designed to be used by a keyboard and mouse first, and designed to replace Win32.

You seemed to have missed the issue, lots of people don't like Windows 8, Windows device sales are declining, people are not buying the touchscreen laptops. For the sake of brevity I am generalizing.

To put it another way sales of Windows 8 devices are not where MS and OEM's wants them to be, its probably about the OS. The people who don't care about touch don't see any cost without it, they don't want it. They never wanted it. Its being forced on them and they don't want anything forced on them.

On a side note, a recent study shows that people want Apple desktops this christmas, they don't want a Dell. Again, brevity.

derekaw said,
You seemed to have missed the issue, lots of people don't like Windows 8, Windows device sales are declining, people are not buying the touchscreen laptops. For the sake of brevity I am generalizing.

To put it another way sales of Windows 8 devices are not where MS and OEM's wants them to be, its probably about the OS. The people who don't care about touch don't see any cost without it, they don't want it. They never wanted it. Its being forced on them and they don't want anything forced on them.

On a side note, a recent study shows that people want Apple desktops this christmas, they don't want a Dell. Again, brevity.

Windows 8.1 laptops and sales are ahead of expectations.

Every year for the last several people also reported they wanted Apple desktops and Apple notebooks and Apple TV, but the majority of sales were NOT Apple.

It is hard to brand poll Dell versus Apple to consumers that don't know Dell or HP, they only know Windows vs Mac.


Just like last year and the year before and 20 years before that, after the new year, Macs will still be a tiny percentage of PC sales. Apple can be the biggest 'computer' company and with 100s of other computer companies, still only consume a small fraction of the market share.

I could be wrong, and after January if Macs make up 20% of the market, I'll come back here and apologize. However, it was just last year Apple was happy to hit 7% and finally surpass Vista.

Mobius Enigma said,

Technically, Windows 7 is also a touch screen OS. Vista was the first merger of the XP TabletPC and added alternative input models.

Windows 7 was a fail touchscreen OS because users had to interact using fat fingers with elements meant for the pointy cursor.
Windows 8 would have been a fail desktop OS (if Microsoft had been able to enforce their vision) because users had to interact using the cursor with elements meant for fat fingers.

Windows 8 has more features and functionality than all the versions of Windows that came before it, yet it can run with less RAM than Windows 7, consume less CPU resources, get better high end/gaming performance and still and get better battery life.

Try merging networks or deleting redundant wireless network settings without using the commandline. One is able to do that easily in Windows 7, although the functionality is not easily discoverable.

trieste said,

Windows 7 was a fail touchscreen OS because users had to interact using fat fingers with elements meant for the pointy cursor.
Windows 8 would have been a fail desktop OS (if Microsoft had been able to enforce their vision) because users had to interact using the cursor with elements meant for fat fingers.


Try merging networks or deleting redundant wireless network settings without using the commandline. One is able to do that easily in Windows 7, although the functionality is not easily discoverable.

So fat fingers are the problem.. You do realize that all UI elements in Windows 7 can be enlarged if you do have trouble hitting the controls. (Show me your hands and I can adjust the entire UI to be accessible and even have File Explorer mimic Android or iOS depending on your preference. All with the built in options.

Anyone that makes a comment like this has never seriously tried to use Windows 7 as a touch device or even as a stylus/touch device. TabletPC based Win7 devices are quite popular in many enterprise operations.

As for the wireless networks babble. The same UI options are in Windows 8 that are in Windows 7. Just because YOU couldn't find them, doesn't mean they are gone. I can think of two ways to get to them. Wow.

Side note...
Of all OSes in the world, complaining that you have to use a CLI to do something in Windows is just freaking amazing. Windows has more GUI based management and low level feature GUI interfaces than OS X, let alone something like Linux or even Android.

Unless you are changing something purposely hidden like advanced boot options in BCDedit, and you need to use the CLI, you are doing it wrong.

Nice rant, but they did remove something, you can't just change the UX paradigm so substantially and act as if it's not a massive change.

Nor do games perform any better on Windows 8, not that I've seen anyway and I do 30+ hours of gaming per week.

I have Win 8 on my system and the only reason it is there because I got it for $15 only and have better dual monitor support and I like explorer ribbon. Metro UI is worst interface on Desktop and I use StartIsBack to get rid of that annoyance. If not for StartIsBack, I would have remained with Win 7.

MS need to get rid of this garbage Metro from Desktop and focus on refining desktop experience rather than forcing flat ugly coloured tiles everywhere. They can still experiment this Metro abomination on their tablet though.

Good call for the windows 8 haters. I guess when Win9 comes out then 8.1 will be the next favorite

Riva said,
Good call for the windows 8 haters. I guess when Win9 comes out then 8.1 will be the next favorite

It depends by what Windows 9 will be, doesn't it?
If it looked like the OS portrayed here I would switch immediately and not missing W8.1, which I am using on all my systems right now, at all.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWxqSEMXWuw

Riva said,

Let me see full screen apps, touch friendly, oh wait that's windows 8!!

Did you watch it? It seems quite different to me... and not just the bloody colours I would add.
The entire paradigm appears to be different.

Riva said,
Good call for the windows 8 haters. I guess when Win9 comes out then 8.1 will be the next favorite
Windows 8.1 will never be a favorite as long as Windows 7 is in the picture. That's just how it is plain and simple.

Windows 7, arguably the best operating system coming out of Redmond. Windows 7 will be around well beyond 2020 if Microsoft doesn't fix the short-comings in their flagship operating system. I am looking forward in seeing what Microsoft has in store for laptop and desktop users. As it is right now, even Windows 8.1 ain't up to snuff. Technologically, Windows 8 is sound. As others have mentioned, the back and forth Modern UI to desktop drives me insane.

Spicoli said,
8 is better specially due to the multi-monitor task bar, hyper-V integration, and syncing settings to any system you log into. You don't have to switch back and forth.

How about the simple fact that, IMHO, it is butt effing ugly. I refuse to use it for simple reason that it is UGLY. HIDEOUS. An abomination that needs to DIE. I don't care what kind of improvements are under the hood, MS either fixes that nasty interface, or I (like MANY other people) will continue to use Win7.

Windows-8 was clearly designed for a narrowly-designed segment of the marketplace. Yes, it may "wow and dazzle" those users; but, for the rest of us...pfffft.

I just upgraded errr reverted to Windows 7 and shelved Windows 8 indefinitely. I couldn't take the schizoid interface anymore ! Don't get me wrong, Windows 8 is solid technically, and I used it for a year, but its interface really drove me up the wall everyday.

I did the same thing. I tried, I really did, but I could not stand Windows 8 and eventually said screw it and went back to Windows 7. 8 is just a mess.

Agreed. Windows 8's interface ruins the overall experience on a Desktop as this is the first major OS from Microsoft i genuinely don't want to use and it's all because of it's interface is stripped down and prevents you from really using your PC like how we are used to. hopefully Microsoft learns their lesson and makes Windows 9 more like a real PC interface instead of having it designed for tablets basically which is for those who just do very basic stuff like browse a website. but for those of us who want to actually use our PC it's interface is a joke and why so many want Win7 to stick around for a while. but hopefully Win7 market share stays large as that will help force MS to stick with that for years like they did with WinXP.

You people must be really bad at using computers if you find Windows 8 difficult. It's like all the old guys in the office that whine and complain endlessly no matter anything changes. We could change the coffee and they would whine.

If change is not for the better, you should not have to adapt to it. Although elevators are nice, some people prefer to use stairs. Laptops are convenient and portable, but people still like desktops. Automatic transmission cars are nice, but there are people who prefer to use manual transmission cars.

Spicoli said,
You people must be really bad at using computers if you find Windows 8 difficult. It's like all the old guys in the office that whine and complain endlessly no matter anything changes. We could change the coffee and they would whine.

Except that MS broke the intuitive Windows 7 desktop by introducing some useless crap garbage touch features that made Windows 8 fail so hard. No wonder why it suffers from a personality disorder, trying to combine two UI paradigms may sound cool but the end result was purely catastrophic for the desktop user. Who the hell would need cumbersome fullscreen touch apps when their win32 equivalent were perfect? MS just fixed something that wasn't even broken in the first place.

There's no such thing as an intuitive user interface. What people really mean is familiar. Things change and the new stuff now will be the familiar stuff soon. I use it on the desktop all the time with absolutely no problems. It's really not that hard.

yowanvista said,

Except that MS broke the [s]intuitive[/s] familiar Windows 7 desktop by introducing [s]some useless crap garbage touch[/s] new features that made Windows 8 [s]fail so hard.[/s] different. No wonder why [s]it suffers from a personality disorder, trying to combine two UI paradigms may sound cool but the end result was purely catastrophic for the desktop user.[/s] it's a transitional OS. Who the hell would need [s]cumbersome fullscreen touch apps[/s] responsive apps, when their win32 equivalent were [s]perfect?[/s] far from perfect. MS just fixed something that was[s]n't even broken in the first place.[/s] far from perfect.

So, desktop apps aren't broken? Is that why most of them are poorly coded, lacking in input responsiveness, and kludgy to use most of the time? Why should Microsoft continue to ignore new input methods for one that is slowly declining? Why should they continue to push for mouse input only UIs when other technologies are working their way into mainstream use?

Dot Matrix said,

So, desktop apps aren't broken? Is that why most of them are poorly coded, lacking in input responsiveness, and kludgy to use most of the time? Why should Microsoft continue to ignore new input methods for one that is slowly declining? Why should they continue to push for mouse input only UIs when other technologies are working their way into mainstream use?


The win32 API coupled with .Net is far superior and feature complete than any metro nonsense so far, reason for which desktop developers favor it for performance reasons, it is here to stay since it's a core part of the MS developer platform technology. I haven't experienced any so called 'broken desktop apps' but most if not all Metro apps from the store don't give me any advantage over their desktop counterparts.

Why would I even need a fullscreen app with oversized tUI elements when desktop apps just works fine? Sure implementing new input methods is a plus for users willing to use touch devices but forcing the whole touchscreen UI on desktop users was a terrible idea. I would gladly use Metro apps on an appropriate device with touch input but Metro apps on a PC feel crappy, childish at most and totally senseless, MS simply shot itself in the foot with Windows 8.

yowanvista said,

The win32 API coupled with .Net is far superior and feature complete than any metro nonsense so far, reason for which desktop developers favor it for performance reasons, it is here to stay since it's a core part of the MS developer platform technology. I haven't experienced any so called 'broken desktop apps' but most if not all Metro apps from the store don't give me any advantage over their desktop counterparts.

Why would I even need a fullscreen app with oversized tUI elements when desktop apps just works fine? Sure implementing new input methods is a plus for users willing to use touch devices but forcing the whole touchscreen UI on desktop users was a terrible idea. I would gladly use Metro apps on an appropriate device with touch input but Metro apps on a PC feel crappy, childish at most and totally senseless, MS simply shot itself in the foot with Windows 8.

Metro apps offer far better security. I don't know of any Win32 apps that offer out of the box sandboxing. Metro apps are no more "fullscreen" nor "oversized" than Win32 apps are.

yowanvista said,

The win32 API coupled with .Net is far superior and feature complete than any metro nonsense so far, reason for which desktop developers favor it for performance reasons, it is here to stay since it's a core part of the MS developer platform technology. I haven't experienced any so called 'broken desktop apps' but most if not all Metro apps from the store don't give me any advantage over their desktop counterparts.

Why would I even need a fullscreen app with oversized tUI elements when desktop apps just works fine? Sure implementing new input methods is a plus for users willing to use touch devices but forcing the whole touchscreen UI on desktop users was a terrible idea. I would gladly use Metro apps on an appropriate device with touch input but Metro apps on a PC feel crappy, childish at most and totally senseless, MS simply shot itself in the foot with Windows 8.


Word!

I do use Windows 8, and appreciate its technical improvements over Windows 7, but almost never touch the Metro interface and restored the good old Start Menu using Startisback.

In addition, I use desktop Skype, not the Metro one.

Pretty sure the 'Date of general availability' for Windows XP is wrong as it actually came out in October 2001! Was around the 25th IIRC.

I think at this point Microsoft would do anything to get people off windows xp. However I see the same issue coming up for windows 7 in a few years. Paranoid windows XP users probably are avoiding windows 8.x with a vengance where windows 7 would be more palatable.

So, the cutoff date has come and gone, why would they "extend" something that has already passed? Windows 7 just isn't magically going to re-appear on the shelves, not when they're pushing Windows 8.1 to consumers. More than likely, this gives the go ahead to continue selling whatever stock is left.

Those still looking to upgrade to the OS, have other, still supported ways of upgrading.

John Callaham said,
We mentioned one possible reason in our article

Businesses upgrading don't buy retail boxes, though. They go through their software assurance channels.

Javik said,
Why the hell are you so desperate to see the end of Windows 7 anyway?

What part of "Those still looking to upgrade to the OS, have other, still supported ways of upgrading." did you not see?

Dot Matrix said,

What part of "Those still looking to upgrade to the OS, have other, still supported ways of upgrading." did you not see?

What part of "small businesses still buy retail software" did you not see?

Dot Matrix said,

Businesses upgrading don't buy retail boxes, though. They go through their software assurance channels.

Big businesses, not small businesses, for which there are many.

John Callaham said,
As some of the people who have commented on this story have mentioned, many small businesses get their Windows 7 boxes in retail

Organizations that small only have a couple systems where mixing OSes doesn't matter. It's the enterprise setups that needs to worry about OS versions and rolling out their custom configurations.

Spicoli said,

I don't know who "you" is but the reason to move forward is easy: IE6

Windows 7 isn't that old, it is hardly comparable to the IE6 situation and that only happened because Microsoft got smug and lazy. It took Firefox to wake them up. IE6 was a security nightmare and was holding back web standards, Windows 7 is not.

A change to "To be determined" status may also mean the opposite and end up finishing the Windows 7 sales sooner.

Just keep up this as a possibility. Microsoft is all about its ecosystem the last couple of years and the only OSes which are 100% compatible with that is Windows 8 and beyond.

Um..that makes no sense..the original date was October 30, 2013 for retail sales..in other words, they were already supposed to be stopped.. a change to 'to be determined" automatically extends that sales deadline

No, they never shorten dates. They're just giving more time for OEMs to sell their old hardware since sales have been slow. The speculation is just an excuse for the hate all change types to complain yet again. Sorry guys, the future is going to happen whether you like it or not.

John Callaham said,
Um..that makes no sense..the original date was October 30, 2013 for retail sales..in other words, they were already supposed to be stopped.. a change to 'to be determined" automatically extends that sales deadline

The original date was October 30th 2014 not 2013. What I am saying is a possibility and it makes perfect sense.

vcfan said,
zOMG windows 8 is a failure

Windows 8.x has only shown minimal growth 3 months out of the year so you are 100% correct.

you must have no detected the silent /s tag

Kunal Nanda said,

In that case what do you call Mac OSX or even Linux?

hobbies

torrentthief said,
this would be a wise decision as many businesses upgrading from xp before the end of april will want to upgrade to windows 7.

Businesses don't buy retail.

Dot Matrix said,

Businesses don't buy retail.

not necessarily true. I know of quite a few small businesses that buy retail copies of Windows as it is cheaper than buying VLK and such for the 10 computers or whatever.

firey said,

not necessarily true. I know of quite a few small businesses that buy retail copies of Windows as it is cheaper than buying VLK and such for the 10 computers or whatever.

Ok, but generally speaking that such a small subset of users.

torrentthief said,
this would be a wise decision as many businesses upgrading from xp before the end of april will want to upgrade to windows 7.

Really? And, how did you determine this?

Spicoli said,

Was I supposed to get something from a strawman argument? You can't speak for other people. Only yourself.

Not at all, you asked about how he could say, actually "determine", that there was an interest to move to W7 instead to W8..... and you got your answer straight from PT...
Simple as that. Furthermore I do not speak about mine or other people opinion, I pointed to a fact.

Business certainly are not going to, willy-nilly, upgrade to Windows-8. Trash perfectly good hardware just to get the dubious advantages of touch? Spend valuable time, and money, retraining staff, many of whom are quite unsophisticated? Gamble that applications optimized for XP and probably for Windows-7 will not work well under Windows-8? Clearly, Microsoft chose to abandon relatively stable businesses for the sake of very fickle consumers.