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As sales deadline approaches, OEMs continue to push Windows 7 PCs to consumers

Gregg Keizer | Aug. 22, 2014
Computer makers like Dell, HP and Lenovo must stop selling new PCs with Windows 7 Home Premium on Oct. 31.

It's not surprising that OEMs continue to market Windows 7-based machines, or that Microsoft has extended their use of Windows 7 Professional by 10 months so far. PC sales have been in a two-year slump -- down 10% in 2013 from the year before, IDC said, and forecast to be off another 6% this year -- and neither OEMs nor Microsoft are going to pass up selling systems, even if that means the computers run a five-year-old OS.

That age is one downside of buying a new PC with Windows 7, as Microsoft will stop serving security updates -- patches for newly-found or -reported vulnerabilities -- after Jan. 14, 2020. While that is more than five years away, it's near enough that Gartner has already called on companies to begin planning how they will migrate off Windows 7.

On the plus side, just half the usual 10 years of support for late-comers to Windows 7 will be 67% longer than the 3 years that Apple seems to have settled on for supporting its operating system, OS X.

Windows 8, the 2012 original, also has an approaching deadline: On October 31, retail sales of Windows 8 are to stop. PCs with Windows 8 may still come off the factory lines -- Microsoft has not set the end-of-sales date for OEMs -- but that point is largely moot as the perception-challenged OS has been largely replaced by Windows 8.1 on new machines.


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