31st October, Friday last week, was the date Microsoft decided to stop selling Windows 7 and Windows 8.
That means, retailers are no longer able to order more Windows 7 and 8 to sell beyond their existing stock.
Still, it can still be bought installed on a new PC. Microsoft isn’t issuing any more of licenses to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), so new PCs with Windows 8 preloaded by OEMs will be available for at least a year, but retail outlets will now stop selling Windows 8 boxed copies.
Windows 7 is currently is the most popular PC Operating System in use, covering around 53% percent of the market. Windows 8 has around 6%, the same market share than Windows 8.1. The 13-year old Windows XP still has 17% market share.
But no worries, Microsoft has said it will continue to support the operating system until January 2023.
Windows 8 was a significant departure from the classic Windows look and feel, bringing in a new tiled start screen that met with considerable opposition from businesses worried about having to retrain staff to use the new interface.
When talking about downgrading, it is important to notice that enterprise customers with volume licensing deals can still downgrade to previous versions of the operating system they have licensed. But downgrading Windows 8/8.1 becomes more complex for those who purchased the operating System preloaded on a PC by an OEM.
It turns out that some OEMs will include the downgrade media with the machine. However, they aren’t obliged to do that.