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Microsoft is no longer selling Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 licenses to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). This effectively means that Windows 10 is the only version of Windows available to the companies building new PCs.
On October 31st, Microsoft ended sales of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 for PCs with Windows pre-installed on them. Microsoft previously stopped selling Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Ultimate licenses in October 2014, and Windows 8 licenses in June 2016.
This means OEMs can now only buy Windows 10 licenses from Microsoft. They are allowed to use the Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 licenses they already have in stock, but when they’re gone, they’re gone. And it likely won’t take long to decimate the existing stock.
Your Time Is Running Out
For consumers, this means time is running out for you to buy a new PC with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 preinstalled on it. After manufacturers run out of their existing stock, you’ll then have to buy your own copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and install it yourself. Or move on to Windows 10.
If you do stick with Windows 7 or Windows 8, you’ll have to keep one eye on when Microsoft is ending support for those operating systems. Mainstream support for Windows 7 has already ended, with Windows 8.1 set to follow suit in January 2018. Windows 10, on the other hand, is going to be supported until at least 2025.
Windows 10 Is the Future
For Microsoft, Windows 10 is the future, the only future, and the one operating system to rule them all. The company is selling Windows 10 as a service rather than a product, and is likely to keep evolving it for many years to come.
However, if you’re not a fan of Windows 10 already, you’re unlikely to ever be a fan. And that leaves you with a stark choice between making do with a version of Windows you really don’t like, and switching to either macOS or Linux. Which is a sucky choice.
Are you determined to stick with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1? If so, why? What do you love about those operating systems? What do you have against Windows 10 that means you’re not willing to upgrade to it under any circumstances? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Imilyas via Flickr