Late last week, news broke that Microsoft had quietly ended retail sales of Windows 7 on October 30, 2013, and that sales of PCs with Windows 7 installed would end on October 30, 2014. The source for this news was the Windows lifecycle fact sheet, the dates from which were pulled over the weekend. Microsoft today confirmed the former date with TNW and clarified that the latter was posted in error.
“We have yet to determine the end of sales date for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled,” a Microsoft spokesperson told TNW. “The October 30, 2014 date that posted to the Windows Lifecycle page globally last week was done so in error. We have since updated the website to note the correct information; however, some non-English language pages may take longer to revert to correctly reflect that the end of sales date is ‘to be determined.”
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Here is the table in question as it appeared last week:
Here is what the table looks like currently, with both dates removed:
The change to the “to be determined” label for both Windows 7 columns caused speculation that Microsoft had retracted both dates. The company has now clarified it is confirming the “Retail software end of sales” date and retracting the “End of sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled” date.
“We apologize for any confusion this may have caused our customers,” the spokesperson continued in the company’s statement to TNW. “We’ll have more details to share about the Windows 7 lifecycle once they become available. Additionally, we are confirming that the Retail software end of sales date for Windows 7 did happen on October 30, 2013.”
In short, Windows 7 retail sales have indeed ended. PCs with Windows 7 on them, however, will continue to be available until Microsoft sets an end of sales date.