In accordance with their plan, Microsoft has begun phasing out sales of Windows 7 and Windows 8. This process begins with stopping direct sales from Microsoft to consumers and OEMs of some copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8. Consumers will still be able to downgrade to Windows 7 from Windows 8, although this process isn’t for the faint of heart. Volume license agreements which large companies have with Microsoft won’t change at all.
Microsoft has a process for phasing out software for consumers to slowly move to the newest version of their software, in this case Windows. The process has been detailed for some time now, but this is one of the first actions Microsoft is taking to phase the software out. Windows 7 and 8 users have nothing to worry about; your OS will continue working as it has been. It is worth noting that Microsoft considers Windows 8.1 to be different than Windows 8, so OEMs (Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc) and consumers can still buy Windows 8.1 directly from Microsoft.
Companies who have a volume license agreement with Microsoft also have nothing to worry about. Their schedule for rolling out Windows 7 won’t change at all. Microsoft’s number one priority is making a sale to happy customers. When a company has their own IT staff who will manage the deployment and maintenance of the Windows 7 computers there is no reason for Microsoft not to sell them any copy of Windows they need.
So what does this all mean? As of October 31st, Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate can no longer be purchased directly from a retailer. These operating systems will no longer be pre-installed on any new computers sold via OEMs, nor will they be available for retail purchase. Windows 8 will no longer be available for purchase, but you can still purchase Windows 8.1.Further reading: Microsoft, Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8