With Windows 9 (Threshold) rumored for an introduction next month along with a Release Preview for consumers and developers alike, it's safe to say that the Windows 8 era is winding down, though some would argue it never truly began (market share figures would back that argument). So, what do you do if you're an OEM looking to pick up sales for the back to school season? Well, if you're HP, you promote Windows 7 and offer shoppers an enticing discount.
Not much has happened in the Windows space this summer, though what little movement there's been indicates that users are still trending more towards Windows 7 than Windows 8/8.1. The combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in July was 12.48 percent, down a sliver from 12.54 percent in June and 12.64 percent in May. All of those figures are up slightly from the 12.24 percent share Window 8/8.1 held in April when support for XP ended, but nothing to brag about.
Microsoft updates end of support deadlines for various software
Now that we're well into July, Microsoft felt it was a good time to update its list of products reaching end of support in the next 6 months. One entry that's gaining a lot of media attention is Windows 7. According to the list, Mainstream Support for several versions of Windows 7 will end on January 13, 2015, though that doesn't mean you need to rush out and grab a copy of Windows 8. Here's why.
Make your Windows XP-using friends/family members read this important PSA
Microsoft has officially pulled the plug on support for Windows XP. That’s it. Finite. Done. No more. Don’t expect to see any future patches, services packs, fixes, hotfixes, critical updates, anything — if you’re one of the one-fourth of desktop users or so who are still running the antiquated operating system (yes, there’s that many of you), you’re about to enter the Wild Wild West of computing.
With yet another month's worth of data to digest, it's becoming increasingly clear that Windows 8 might never catch up to Windows 7. How you want to view that is up to you -- it could mean that Microsoft hit it out of the park with Windows 7, making it exceedingly difficult on itself to duplicate that kind of success, or that Windows 8 is a foul ball off of a broken bat. Let's look at some numbers.
Here we are more than a year after the release of Windows 8 and it still remains a hot topic. The points of consternation among its critics are that Microsoft overhauled the user interface with a focus on touch computing, and then added insult to injury by removing the Start button and Start menu (the Start button has since returned, but without the handy menu). Nevertheless, it's a faster and more secure operating system than Windows 7. What's a user to do? Well, if you're buying a rig from boutique builder Puget Systems, you can have the company give Windows 8 a makeover so that it essentially feels like Windows 7.
Microsoft has set a firm date of October 31st for final sale of consumer Windows 7 machines, but business machines are another story. The official website has been updated as such to reflect this, with Microsoft noting that October 31, 2014 is the new end-of-sale date for Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, or Ultimate PCs. Home Premium takes the cake when it comes to sales, but now Microsoft is pushing for Windows 8 to take over as reigning champ, per PC World.
In case you missed it, Hewlett-Packard (HP) last week began advertising the return of Windows 7 desktops. The OEM said its decision to sell Windows 7 systems in a Windows 8 world was influenced by "popular demand," but what we found interesting is how aggressively the world's second largest PC maker promoted its Windows 7 machines. Was there more than meets the eye? HP today posted a blog further explaining its reasoning for bringing back Windows 7.
Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's second largest PC maker by volume, is giving potential customers the ability to configure systems with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. The OEM is advertising that Windows 7 is "back by popular demand," and as a bonus, customers can save up to $150 instantly. Based on the available systems, that's a savings of anywhere from 13 percent to 20 percent off the normal price.
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.