Windows 7 distribution ceased, OS prepares for retirement

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Microsoft has announced that as of 30 November 2013, Windows 7 will no longer be sold through the company’s online store or to retail channel partners.

The software giant is retiring Windows 7 across the market and ending distribution is the first step. Retailers who still have orders in progress will have them fulfilled, but afterwards the OS will no longer be sold. OEM partners may sell systems pre-loaded with the outgoing OS until  30 October 2014.

Windows 7 will also not see a second service pack, as Microsoft has discontinued the practice of releasing updates rolled into a single installer. Updates for the OS will be available through the Windows Update service until 13 January 2015, after which the OS will continue to receive critical security updates and patches for exploits until 14 January 2020.

Its the end of the road for the operating system that changed everything for the Redmond-based company. Windows 7 has been its most successful venture after XP to date and it also is the most widely adopted among PC gamers, sitting at an astounding 64.38% according to the latest Steam Hardware and Software User survey.

Microsoft's Windows 7 had a good three-year run.

Microsoft’s Windows 7 had a good four-year run.

It was also Microsoft’s fastest-selling operating system. Pre-orders for Windows 7 sold out when Amazon began accepting them. In a mere eight hours, more pre-orders for Windows 7 had been placed than Amazon’s sales of Windows Vista in the first 17 weeks after launch. In Japan the OS sold out only 36 hours after launch and worldwide passed Apple’s OS X Snow Leopard market share within two weeks.

Across the board review sites scored the operating system very high. CNET awarded it 4.5/5 stars, calling it “what Vista should have been.” Maximum PC awarded it 9/10 stars and said that it was “nearly perfect,” and that “the taskbar alone is worth it.” Engadget, TechRadar, and New York Times awarded the OS full marks, with Engadget particularly giddy over how much faster it was than Vista or XP.

According to the latest results from Net Marketshare, across all editions Windows 8 commands just over 7.4% market share worldwide, which doesn’t really compare to Windows 7’s 37.29% and Windows XP’s 24.96% market share. Microsoft has a long way to go before Windows 8 begins to properly catch up and consumers see it in a more positive light.

Source: ZD Net, Net Marketshare, Steam Hardware and Software Survey

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Forum discussion

Join the conversation

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    As long as they have updates for it I don’t really mind.

  • Richard

    Same here. Windows 8 sucks balls.

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    Amen to that! I hope they get it together again with Windows 9 or whatever they choose to call it.

  • Richard

    My Qosmio came with 8.0, which I gave a good try. I then went with 8.1 and hope that would solve a few issues I had. It did not. I went through the long irritating process of getting all the Win 7 drivers for my laptop. Toshiba do NOT make it easy at all….

    Made an image of my base setup, goodbye Windows 8.1

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    Aw crap =/ I was hoping to go to 8.1 with the hope that it would just solve this damn stupid menu issues.

    Think I will give it a try and then maybe make the leap to Ubuntu and see how that goes…

  • VirtualForce

    I’m just glad we upgraded most of the office PC’s (HP desktops). We got Win 8 end of last year with new PCs and the software we use had endless issues, so much so that we had to downgrade to Win 7.

    We requested from our supplier to get us machines with Win 7, they replied that they had many such requests and so for this whole year we received our machines with Win 7 pre-installed and Win 8 upgrade disks in the box.

  • Richard

    I honestly dont know what they were thinking when they dreaming up this garbage… Good luck!!

  • The way I had it on 8.1 was to boot straight to desktop and have the start menu act as an “all apps list” like older versions of Windows had when you clicked on “all programs.” So with one button click I can see everything without needing to scroll and a right-click accesses all the power user functions. Its quite well done if you configure it this way.
    I’m temporarily on Win 7 and it feels much slower. Not to mention that I also needed to find a file copy manager to replace what Win 8 has built-in.

  • Francois Louw

    It was available on their online store? To South Africans? They made a good effort of hiding it.

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    The only reason I thought about going over on my home PC was because of speed, but I have an SSD so the load times are already fast enough to be honest…

    I think the thing that most irritated me was the fact that I needed to make so many extra little changes just for it to be bearable.

    So I think for now I am going to be lazy and stick with Win7 till 9 comes out and then force myself to switch over and deal with all the changes.

  • They did this with Office 2010 locally but it failed hard because they priced it above the average retail price in SA. SAffers who wanted Windows 7 could buy it from their US store as well, afaik.

  • Windreaver

    Windows 8 has been the first version of windows that has not given me a single problem. I can understand people with driver issues, etc, but i really don’t get the ‘start menu’ issues, even if you don’t like the livetiles – I ceased to use start menus and desktop icons with XP. I only use the start bar for frequent apps, otherwise i search for executables. Menus are no longer needed. I guess it all comes down to what you want in a UI.

  • Jacks

    Because people like to hate stuff, unfortunately, like EA, MS is a big company and it’s easy to hate them especially when someone else is doing it.

    I wasn’t going to post here since it seemed to be a windows 8 hate circle jerk but I’m glad to see someone else has. Windows 8 is a great OS, that works fine for desktops. I’ve had solid performance from it and at R300 it was one hell of a deal. This is a quote from a user on endgadget that describes exactly how I feel about the start menu system:

    “Then where DO you launch your programs from, dude?
    If it’s the Start Menu, then more power to ya, I guess. I never used it
    unless I had to on XP and 7. It was frankly a pain in the ass. So
    many nested menus and flyouts it was like tracking pieces of an
    exploding Russian nesting doll, and about 1/3 of the time I would wind
    up moving the mouse one millimeter too far one direction or another and
    the whole thing would close and I’d have to start over. It was a bad UI
    and it frustrated me to no end.
    I always just pinned a few key
    programs to the taskbar (like now) and a couple more to the top of the
    Start menu and that worked fine, but I dreaded digging down into Start
    every time I had to do it. Now it’s the taskbar and a single
    group of tiles and I’m set. Plus some glanceable info in there without
    having to run any widgets (that often found ways to frustrate me
    somehow, too).”

  • “I never used it unless I had to on XP and 7. It was frankly a pain in the ass. So many nested menus and flyouts it was like tracking pieces of an exploding Russian nesting doll, and about 1/3 of the time I would wind up moving the mouse one millimeter too far one direction or another and the whole thing would close and I’d have to start over. It was a bad UI and it frustrated me to no end.”

    I don’t get this. In XP the Start menu was key to the experience and well defined after several iterations where Microsoft finally got a clue with Windows 2000. And Windows 7’s search function was much more intuitive and easier to use than moving the mouse around the “All Programs” list.

  • Jacks

    Well I can’t speak for the guy who posted that but I know I enjoyed and got over the nestled menu system in XP. With 7 I either used the start button and the first 3 letters of the program I was looking for or I pinned it if I used it enough. His description of going 1 pixel over was something that I hated as well as the huge mass of programs that could quickly clog your screen or be forced to wait for the programs to scroll down. UGH!

    With win 8 I can still start menu 3 letters of program and I’m in it and now that 8.1 allows my wallpaper as my start menu background it’s sick. I guess it helps that I’ve always felt icons are an eyesore and the start menu was a bit archaic. The tiles were a nice change and you can get your start menu looking awesome with oblytile. Just wish MS would build that program into windows.

    All I can say is I’m glad windows and ubuntu have moved away from that system 😀

  • Mossel

    OMW dude! That explains exactly how I feel about the start menu. I also just pin like 6 apps to the taskbar (usually Chrome, Steam, Explorer en uTorrent). I then turn all desktop icons off, because I like a clean background. And like you said, if you need anything else, just type it in the search bar on the start menu.

  • Jacks

    Yep I do the same. Hate icons on my desktop. Love how clean windows 8 looks and with 8.1 giving you your desktop wallpaper as the start menu background it just got sexy. Anyway good to see it’s not all hate.

  • Adam Jorgensen

    Windows 8 is vomitous.

    Come back to me after you’ve had to persuade it to allow you access your own BIOS so that you can disable Secure Boot in order to multi-boot Linux and then tell me Windows 8 is all roses.

    I don’t have a huge issue with the interface in Windows 8.1. It’s not terrible, it’s just tedious in it’s attempts to force tablet paradigms on mouse-users.

  • Liz Taylor

    Using a laptop or PC yea they are all fine to use Win7 or 8 but try been the poor bugger that has to navigate to fix it.

  • Mohamed Imtiyaz

    A rather sad article to see, i liked Win7 very much. It was stable, easy to use and nice looking. Windows 8 is OK in my opinion just that start menu requires one to possibly have a Bsc Comp science degree to get use to.

  • warr10r

    Windows 7 is boss! My most beloved OS, such a dream to use. I tried Windows 8 once. Once. If Windows 9 is an equal fail then its off to Linux I go.

Windows 7 distribution ceased, OS prepares for retirement

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