Microsoft Removes Retailer Deadline to Stop Selling Windows 7 PCs

Paul Lilly

The new sales deadline is to be determined

Microsoft last week made it be known that system retailers would not be allowed to sell Windows 7 PCs past October 2014. The deadline is known as the "End of sales" date, which refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or OEMs, as well as the last day partners are allowed to peddle the OS. After listing October 30, 2014 as the end of sales date for Windows 7, Microsoft pulled a 180 and is now leaving it up in the air.

The revised end of sales for PCs running Windows 7 is now listed as "To be determined," the same as listed for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. So, what happened?

"We have yet to determine the end of sales date for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled. The October 30, 2014 date that posted to the Windows Lifecycle page globally last week was done so in error," Microsoft said in a statement. "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.' We apologize for any confusion this may have caused our customers. We’ll have more details to share about the Windows 7 lifecycle once they become available."

What's interesting about this is that Microsoft typically stops selling a version of an OS one year after the next version launches, and stops delivery of the prior edition to OEMs two years after the new one ships. For reference, Windows 8 came out in October 2012, so October 2014 would be the proper date to halt Windows 7 PC sales based on past policy.

If Microsoft extends the deadline past October 2014, it would be the first time since initiating the policy in 2010.

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