Microsoft Stops Selling Windows 7 Pro, 8.1 to PC Makers

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It's the end of an era: Microsoft has stopped providing Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 to PC makers.

Microsoft stopped retail software sales of Windows 7 Professional in 2013; sales of Windows 8.1 ended a year later. But as of Oct. 31, Microsoft stopped selling its aging operating systems to companies that make Windows-based gadgets.

The move likely won't have much of impact on the average consumer, save for those who were hoping to nab one last Windows 7 PC before they disappeared. Nostalgic tech fans who want older OSes can certainly find ways to get them. But it's a passing of the baton to Microsoft's more current OS: Windows 10, which arrived last year, and does not have an end-of-life schedule.

Microsoft has said that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows in that Redmond will release incremental updates to its OS going forward rather than rolling out a huge update every few years.

PCMag's sister site, ExtremeTech, still thinks Windows 11 might be on the horizon, pointing out that "there's a great deal of institutional expectation built into the idea of periodically updating one's operating system."

For the first time last year, Redmond offered its new OS as a free upgrade to those on Windows 7 and 8.1. And while hundreds of millions of people have adopted the latest system, others seem hesitant to leave the comfort of Windows 7. So it's a good thing that Microsoft will provide security fixes for its legacy OSes through January 2020 (Win 7) and January 2023 (Win 8.1).

If you're not convinced, check out 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10.

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